Posted in: Business

Belvedere Vodka Under Fire For Rape Ad

Belvedere Vodka

Belvedere Vodka really stepped over the line according to a large number of their Facebook following. The luxury vodka maker posted a controversial ad to its Facebook page on Saturday. The image depicted a woman looking completely freaked out while a man grabs her from behind. The text says “Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly”

Immediately after the company posted the ad, bloggers, pundits, fans and customers went completely crazy. They had nothing nice to say about a company they believed was making a joke out of sexual assault.

Amy Tennery of Jane Dough wrote,

“This is the most awful piece of promotional material I’ve seen published in the last several months, if not years,”

Business Insider called the image, “disgusting.”

It seems that it isn’t even enough that Belevedere had the ad pulled from Facebook and has issued several very strongly worded apologies. The backlash is continuing unabated.

Fans reactions are similar to these.

One Twitter user reacted to apology,

“FAIL. Never touching your product ever again.”

One fan of their Facebook page had this to say,

“Belvedere Vodka, your apology is insufficient as it does not accept responsibility for promoting rape-culture,”

Forbes Magazine, one of the most authoritative business journals on the planet said easily,

“If you find yourself rushing to take down an ad that could be interpreted as making light of rape, you’re doing internet marketing wrong.”

This is the ad that the company put on Facebook. We are interested in hearing what you think about it!

Belvedere Ad

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6 Responses to “Belvedere Vodka Under Fire For Rape Ad”

  1. Kirk Montrealer

    ..alcohol makes most men and women do things they would not normally do sober..guys become horny bastards (hornier than usual) and women become pole hugging lap dancers… how many times have we all had drunken many kids were conceived by drunk couples..people are too damn uptight about everything..get over it.

  2. The RINJ Foundation

    "RINJ dot Org (Rape Is No Joke) urges every nation to ban the sale of Belvedere Vodka and to rescind any and all trade marks, business licenses, export licenses and further urges that any and all food/drug/liquor substance/content approvals be withdrawn forthwith.

    "RINJ further urges a global and indefinite boycott of Belvedere Vodka."

    Despite the two weak apologies from Belvedere:

    1) The damages is done. The apology was the barest minimum and did not undo the damage.

    2) We are opposed to the corporate culture that allowed this in the first place and believe that culture still exists.

    3) This LVMH subsidiary, Belvedere, may well represent the attitude of a large multinational led by Louis Vuitton et. al. which has as its main customers, women.

    4) The acts of this liquor manufacturer are so egregious that the situation can now be compared to rape where saying sorry afterwards doesn't fix anything. This company is a powerful opinion-leader and trend-setter and needs to be opposed in its disgusting attitude toward women.

    Micheal O'Brien
    Executive Director
    RINJ Campaign
    Non-Profit Organization

  3. Alexandra Signorile-Côté

    Well, this is a rather biased article. Getting righteously offended over an obvious and insensitive rape joke makes us "completely crazy" people with "nothing nice to say" because we "believed [the ad] was making a joke out of sexual assault".

    Instead, the writer of the article to sympathize with the company, saying that "It seems that it isn’t even enough that Belevedere had the ad pulled from Facebook". Poor babies. The article even goes so far as to say that the half-assed apologies were "strongly worded". Well, you know what? "I'm sorry you were offended" is NOT an apology as it shifts responsibility from the company to, you know, NOT make rape jokes, and puts it instead on those who got offended. But I guess we can't blame them for that ridiculous non-apology. I mean after all, we did go "completely crazy" and "had nothing nice to say". It's not like ad was actually making a joke out of sexual assault; we just "believed" it was.

  4. Russell Coleman

    I personally cant tell what there trying to insinuate. It really isn't what I personally would call a rape ad. They are both clothed even though she is obviously upset with something he said or did. I don't know I guess I am naive on this one.

  5. Alex Smith

    You have gained a customer for life. I buy a liter every week. Your advertising is as great as your vodka.

  6. Grace Brooks

    Russell, You do not need to be unclothed to be raped. This ad is suggesting that he would like her to perform oral sex and since he has to force her to (i.e rape her) then it will not be 'smooth' or easy.
    It is incredibly offensive and makes a light of a serious crime that affects at least 1 in 4 women (and men also) globally. This is all part of our rape culture which makes fun of women and degrades them and de-humanises them. It is a culture that tells men it is okay to treat women like objects and that rape is okay. The fact that they apologised and donated money to a women's charity doesn't make the slightest bit of difference, in my opinion. The joke was created and posted, and now they are concerned that they may lose some clients so they are back-tracking by trying to smooth it over and please anyone offended. Too little too late I say. I have never bought this vodka and now I would never buy it and I would encourage anyone I know not to ever buy it. It is also connected to Louis Vuitton, a brand which is damaging in it's use or marketing that suggests that women are nothing better then their appearance and accessories. I would never support them or any brand connected with them.

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