Belvedere Vodka Apologizes for Ad

Belvedere adBelvedere Vodka apologized for an ad that many believe mocks sexual assault, but the apology also drew criticism.

As one of many who reacted negatively to the ad, @KateHarding tweeted about her feelings:

"The @belvederevodka rape joke ad disappeared just as I was about to share it on FB. Hope someone got a screenshot. Appalling."

Belvedere initially tweeted this short apology:

After more criticism, the company released a more formal statement:

"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 to RAINN (America's largest anti-sexual violence organization."

RAINN posted a note on its Facebook page:

"We got a call from Belvedere Vodka's president, who was profusely apologetic about an offensive Facebook post yesterday. He stressed how much it was contrary to his values and what Belvedere stands for, and that he feels awful about it. He offered to make a generous donation to RAINN to support our work to help victims of sexual violence and educate the public. Nice to see a company that not only undoes its mistake but looks for a way to do good afterwards."

Discussion Starters:

  • Compare the two apologies. What are the main differences?
  • What are components of a effective apology? Do you find the second apology effective? Why or why not?