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Saturday, 24 March 2012


By: Malanka Sveta

Content Warning: Violent Depictions of Rape

I love Escher.  And "Belvedere" has always been one of my favorites.  The way the building twists and the way you lose your perspective from one point to the next (a hallmark of Escher) is magical.  It is the expectation that the world has far more to offer than we can see.  Sometimes a loss of perspective is how we gain perspective. 

 And sometimes a loss of perspective is how we communicate our intentions.  Belvedere Vodka lost their perspective yesterday.  Hopefully they lost a significant portion of sales as well because their intentions were particularly heinous.

There is no good reason to promote date rape.  There is no good reason to endorse date rape.  There is no good reason to allow date rape (or any rape ever) to be sold in any way shape or form.  I can not see how this ad was released.  It had to have been seen by several people.  How could no one have looked at it and thought "Maybe this isn't a great image for us"?

                It was pulled within an hour of being released, and a notapology was issued shortly thereafter.

We sincerely apologize to any of our fans who were offended by our recent post and related comments. As always, we continue to be an advocate of safe and responsible drinking.
 ·  ·  · Yesterday at 2:28pm · 

And a few hours later, a second notapology was issued.

I am Jason Lundy, SVP of Global Marketing for Belvedere.
Unfortunately a Facebook &Twitter posting was made today that has offended many of our fans and followers -- and indeed the people who work here at Belvedere. The post is absolutely inconsistent with our values and beliefs and in addition to removing the offensive post we are committed to making sure that something like this doesn't happen again.
As an expression of our deep disappointment and regret, we are making a charitable donation to a women's support cause. We deeply apologize to our fans & followers.
 ·  ·  · 22 hours ago · 

The lack of corporate responsibility is obvious when you look at the language.  I'm sorry you got offended is not an apology.  And refusing to state that your company made the post (did this post make itself?) is not taking responsibility.  I'll tell you what an apology is.  An apology is, first, an acknowledgement that you, personally, have done something.  An apology is, second, an acknowledgement of harm and/or hurt caused by the "something" you have done.  An apology is, third, an acknowledgement that you must repair the harm or hurt you have caused.  Pro tip; an unspecified charitable donation to an unnamed women's support cause is not specific enough to be believable, nor is it enough to repair the damage you have done.  An entire ad campaign dedicated to eradicating sexual violence would be the place to start.  Actually have your actions repair the specific harm caused by your ad.  Address the poison in our society which made this ad seem like it was acceptable to enough people that it was released.  Target rape culture and help to eradicate it.  Educate our society so that we all can live in a better world.

                And for fuck's sake apologize.

You might want to apologize to the people who created this video, too.  Because they were shocked and appalled when they saw their intellectual property being used as an ad to sell rape.  I mean vodka and rape.

                Meanwhile, here's a little something to make you all feel better.

Added by Liberate Zealot:
In the time sense Malanka Sveta wrote this post and I added it to the blog Belvedere Vodka has issued a third apology. 

My name is Charles Gibb and I am the President of Belvedere Vodka. I would like to personally apologize for the offensive post that recently appeared on our Facebook page.

It should never have happened. I am currently investigating the matter to determine how this happened and to be sure it never does so again. The content is contrary to our values and we deeply regret this lapse.

As an expression of our regret over this matter we have made a donation toRAINN (America's largest anti-sexual violence organization.
 ·  ·  · 4 hours ago · 

It's better, but it shouldn't take three tries to admit that something was offensive (as opposed to implying that those who were offended are oversensitive) and own up to their own culpability. 

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