Belvedere Vodka is still suffering a hangover from the rapey ad it broadcast on its Twitter and Facebook feeds last month. Alicyn Packard, the terrified-looking woman who refuses in the ad to “go down smoothly” on an obliviously-happy bro, has filed a lawsuit in L.A. Superior Court against Belvedere parent company Moet Hennessy USA, reports KTLA. She claims emotional distress after the company used her image without her consent in “an ad that’s so offensive to so many.” (And yet so funny to so many others.)

The ad was up on Twitter and Facebook for only an hour before someone came to his or her (let’s be honest, it was probably “his”) senses and deleted it. But as with heavy drinking, it only takes an hour to make an embarrassing spectacle of yourself….

The failed attempt to be “edgy” went viral and has proved costly for Belvedere: multiple apologies from top execs; a “generous donation” to RAINN, an anti-sexual-abuse non-profit; and now this. The Frisky compares Packard’s lawsuit to one filed last year by a six-year-old model who was featured in an offensive Life Always anti-abortion ad. Ad agency Heroic Media, working for Life Always, had purchased Anissa Fraser’s photo from Getty images for a huge billboard in New York which stated that the “most dangerous place for African-Americans is in the womb,” ignoring a Getty clause that required that models’ photos not be used to make “offensive or derogatory statements.”

The resolution of that suit had not previously been reported, but when I checked in with Fraser’s lawyer, Andrew G. Celli, Jr. of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff + Abady LLP, he told me the lawsuit gave birth to a $60,000 settlement with Heroic Media and Life Always.

Packard’s case is a bit different, though. It turns out that Belvedere grabbed the still image from a comedy video Packard starred in that was posted to YouTube in January 2011. (For those who still think that the intention of the ad has been misinterpreted, the video is pretty damning. In it, Packard is forced to sit in the man’s lap by her parents to recreate a childhood photo; when she wiggles uncomfortably, he gets too excited about the moment, and the innocence of the earlier photo is lost.)

Continue reading (and waste two minutes of your life watching the video) at Forbes.com….

 


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