Belvedere Vodka found itself in the middle of an outrage when it posted an 'offensive' ad on their Facebook page that showed a woman looking horrified while a man grabs her from behind. It carried a tagline - "Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly."
The company posted the ad to its Facebook page on Saturday after which bloggers and commenters launched an attack on the company.
"This is the most awful piece of promotional material I've seen published in the last several months, if not years," Amy Tennery of the Jane Dough wrote.
Business Insider called the image, "disgusting."
No wonder the post was removed from the Facebook account after the backlash. The company has issued several apologies since then.
"We sincerely apologize to any of our fans who were offended by our recent post and related comments. As always, we continue to be an advocate of safe and responsible drinking," a Facebook post on the official account of the company read.
"I would like to personally apologize for the offensive post that recently appeared on our Facebook page," wrote Charles Gibb, President of Belvedere Vodka.
"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.
," he further wrote.
"Unfortunately a Facebook &Twitter posting was made today that has offended many of our fans and followers -- and indeed the people who work here at Belvedere. The post is absolutely inconsistent with our values and beliefs and in addition to removing the offensive post we are committed to making sure that something like this doesn't happen again," Jason Lundy, SVP of Global Marketing for Belvedere wrote on the page.
The apologies however were not enough for the Facebook users who continued to pour their anger on Facebook.
"Repeated from an earlier comment thread: Are you also reaching out to and making amends with the group that produced the video from whence the still was taken? Utilizing their imagery without permission and/or payment in a campaign (particularly one so controversial) is not acceptable," wrote Tara J. Brannigan.
"A company doesn't take steps like these unless there truly is a problem, and not just "a few complainers." I'm glad Belvedere recognized how inappropriate and out of line this was, even if some of their moronic, apologist customers don't," writes Chase Straight.