Just when you thought the Belvedere Vodka ad fiasco couldn't get any worse. It gets worse. Much worse, in fact.
First, in case you are unfamiliar with what happened: Last week Belvedere Vodka posted a new advertisement on their Twitter stream and Facebook Page. The ad was an image of a woman with a horrified look on her face trying to jump up from a couch, while a man, sitting on the couch and grinning maliciously, tries to pull her back. The tag line for the photo was, "Unlike some people Belvedere Always Goes Down Smoothly."
Ouch. The ad was pulled down shortly after being posted, but as we all know (or should know by now) social media communication happens at the speed of a click. Both sites were deluged with criticism from Followers/Fans who quickly started calling the ad "rapey."
Belvedere quickly issued an 'apology', saying they were sorry if their ad offended anyone, but the damage was done.
Except....it turns out the photo used in the Belvedere ad was actually a frame grab from a comedy video, and Belvedere used it without proper permission. Now the actress featured in the 'ad' is suing Belvedere Vodka for improper use of her image. She claims she has suffered as a result of the ad. She has reportedly said she was disgusted by the ad and the fact they used her image without permission as a part of the ad.
Belvedere has so far remained silent on the pending legislation, and for good reason. Not only was the ad itself clearly an example of poor judgement, but if it turns out the image was indeed used without permission, well, that just adds insult to injury.