So…who thought this was a good idea? Last week, Belvedere Vodka posted—then pulled—this image to the company’s social media pages. Within minutes, over one hundred Facebook users commented about the disturbing content. The photo depicts a man pulling a struggling woman back into his lap alongside the tagline: “Belvedere Always Goes Down Smooth.”
The image lasted online for about an hour before the Belvedere team pulled the plug. They later wrote, “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.”
And as Jezebel points out, “it’s… beyond troubling that Belvedere’s creative team ever thought it would be a wise decision to essentially equate their product with roofies.”
Our take? The image is supposed to be funny, a hopeless guy’s less-than-smooth attempt at seducing the ladies, but we say any suggestion of sexual assault is always a no-go. Even for alcohol companies, notorious for pushing the envelope, this is one idea that was definitely best kept on the drawing board. With this faux pas, Belvedere joins the ranks of companies who have recently been blasted for their goofs on social media. In today’s culture of instantaneous feedback, mistakes made online can be seriously detrimental to a brand’s reputation.
Hey Belvedere, just let us know if you’re in need of some crisis management PR…