Actress in Belvedere Vodka Rape Ad Files Lawsuit

Alicyn Packard claims emotional distress

Having lost badly in the court of public opinion, Belvedere vodka now faces a bona fide legal challenge surrounding its infamous "date-rape" ad. 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. Brand president Charles Gibb has already publicly apologized for the ad, which appeared on Belvedere's Facebook page briefly on March 23, saying it "should never have happened. … The content is contrary to our values and we deeply regret this lapse." Belvedere also made a donation to RAINN, though some critics dismissed the gift as pure PR and chastised the anti-sexual-violence group for accepting the money. In the age of real-time consumer feedback, crisis-management strategies can submerge a brand's image even further, if they're interpreted as nothing but marketing-driven attempts to smooth things over.