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Belvedere Vodka's Rapey Ad: Social Media Fail?

Promoting sexual assault turns out to be a less-than-smooth marketing strategy for Belvedere.

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The offending ad may be gone, but the
Internet never forgets. Photo via

By May Wilkerson

03/26/12

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“Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly.” So reads the brazen, bold-faced caption of a vodka ad depicting a man dragging a terrified-looking woman onto his lap. The implication of forced sex—especially in light of the historical (and statistical) association between drinking and rape—has prompted outrage on Twitter and Facebook after the ad was posted late Friday. It was removed shortly thereafter, but not before thousands of fans and followers bore witness to the offensive piece of marketing. “We apologize to any of our fans who were offended by our recent tweet. We continue to be an advocate of safe and responsible drinking," Belvedere tweeted in response. Belvedere Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Jason Lundy issued a more comprehensive follow-up apology, which read in part, "As an expression of our deep disappointment and regret, we are making a charitable donation to a women’s support cause." That better be one big donation.

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