Actress Sues Belvedere Vodka for Using Her Image in 'Rape' Ad
Last week, Belvedere vodka posted and then pulled a controversial ad where a man grabs a horrified woman from behind. The copy read, "Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly."
With commenters noting its rape implications, the vodka brand pulled the advertisement, apologized, and donated some money to RAINN, America's anti-sexual violence organization.
In a new development, however, it turns out the woman in the ad is a certain Alicyn Packard, who claims that she did not give permission to use her image for the advertisement. The image is actually a screenshot from a stricklyviral.com video, where a girl's parents make her reenact a childhood photograph.
"While Defendants have apologized to nearly everyone else, and admitted the offensiveness of the advertisement," the lawsuit says, "they have yet to apologize to the plaintiff, whose image she says they used without permission to sell vodka, and who has now been unwillingly made the face of the Belvedere advertising campaign that jokes about rape, and has been put front and center in the worldwide controversy created by Defendants."
Packard is suing under a California law that prohibits the use of another's likeness in advertising without a person's prior consent. She is also charging Belvedere for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
"To be affiliated with an ad that's so offensive to so many has just been horrible," Packard told KTLA. "I just want to distance myself from the ad as much as possible."
Watch the original stricklyviral.com sketch below.