Julie Gillis wonders if there was consent to use the image in the Belvedere ad that implied rape.
So, turns out that the image used in the Belevdere Vodka ad (you know, the one that offended tons of people for it’s combo image/slogan that suggested sexual violence and was dissected here at GMP) wasn’t even an image created by the ad company responsible for the controversial ad.
It was a screen shot taken from a comedy video and the actress from the video is filing suit.
Actress Alicyn Packard, who appeared in the ad, has filed a lawsuit against Belvedere parent Moet Hennessy, alleging emotional distress and claiming that the company did not have permission to use her image. The image, Packard says, originated in a Strickly Viral Productions comedy sketch in which she starred. Monetary damages weren’t specified. Packard told KTLA, “To be affiliated with an ad that’s so offensive to so many has just been horrible.” The client has yet to respond to the filing.
I saw this and I wasn’t even sure how to respond. Mostly with a sense of resignation that people can’t be bothered to do their own work anymore and appear to rely on hijacking images for creative ideas because they probably knew that actually hiring actors to do a shoot that entailed replicating some vague-to-clear sense of sexual misconduct would a) cost money and b) alert the company that the ad reps were up to shenanigans that might get Belvedere into trouble.
The video itself is a snarky little piece about really jerky parents insistent on recreating a childhood photo, with surprising, if not off-putting, results. I’ll let you watch it and then give you my ever so academic take on it (ha).
Brittany and Ryan are waxing nostalgic about their childhood as friends. Brittany’s mother and father come in and jostle the hell out of Ryan, who seems passive and resigned. They insist on recreating the photo of Brittany on Ryan’s lap. Brittany doesn’t want to take the embarassing photo, is barraged with emotional assholery from her parents until she gives in, and her jostling and protesting (while sitting on Ryan) sets of Ryan’s “phone.” He continues to seem non-plussed about the situation, while her look of shock, fear, surprise, disgust is due to realizing his “phone” apparently “went off.” Wetly.
No one comes off looking good in the video, which makes sense since it’s comedy. The parents are rude and demanding, the daughter is passive and sarcastic, and the friend is nearly featureless. As a comic piece the punchline is nearly beside the point, and, much like the “phone call” short and not much of a climax at all.
It’s got a sexual ending, and the text of the story, oddly, still has plenty to do with consent and boundaries, which is probably what made it such an easy choice for the ad company to use for the Belvedere piece.
Bad ad ideas, potential purloinment of photos, cutting corners and not taking the time to do the creative work they were paid to do? Is this what’s going on? Is this the story?
Talk about consent issues! Is it easier to snag someone else’s work, instead of asking or creating your own work? We can only hope that the creatives behind the ad asked for permission to use the images and were granted that permission before moving forward. If anyone has additional links with more information, let us know.