I really didn’t want to have to write this post.
The Austin-based Deep Eddy Vodka caused a stir last week with an offensive new ad in which a guy “crashes parties” and makes unwanted advances on women, including spitting “vodka” on them.
Last week, Austin Gastronomist blogger Kathryn Hutchison wrote the definitive takedown, which includes the full-length video, explaining why Deep Eddy shouldn’t base an ad campaign on a guy touching women when they’ve asked him not to.
Hutchison gets to the heart of the matter:
“His admission that ‘we crashed parties…’ implies that the women in the advertisements weren’t actresses who accepted a role. These were real women at parties in Austin, getting spit on and hit on so that Deep Eddy can make more money.”
On Twitter, they claimed to have removed the video and, essentially, that they were sorry “you people who care about how women are portrayed and treated in media” (my quotes, not theirs) were offended.
@ATXGastronomist@ATXChristina We regret the video was seen any other way than humor. Not our intention to offend. Has since been deleted.
— Deep Eddy Vodka (@DeepEddyVodka) October 9, 2014
The non-apology is irritating, but I was hoping that the video would disappear and I wouldn’t have to take them to task here on my work blog.
But that all changed over the past few days when I heard the guy’s voice coming from my kids’ bedroom.
Like just about every kid in America these days, my children watch YouTube in the way that we used to watch regular television, and like any media platform, that comes with advertising. They know all about how deceptive marketing can be and have become quite scrupulous about the ads that appear in front of their favorite YouTube shows, including the Fine Brothers’ awesome Kids React series.
It was during a pre-roll for that decidedly kid-friendly show that the Deep Eddy video has been popping up over and over again during the past few days.
UPDATE: Here’s the edited version of the ad that Deep Eddy is using:
I tweeted my displeasure yesterday, but now that I see Deep Eddy still hasn’t owned up to the fact that they are using this ad in an active campaign (and nor have they engaged with the most recent string of tweets or issued a real apology), I decided it was time to take the conversation off social media and post something on the record here.
UPDATE: Here’s the response from Deep Eddy:
“Deep Eddy Vodka is a company that prides itself on strong values in regards to gender equality, and as soon as the concern was brought to our attention we immediately took action. Over 40% of our employees are women, and all are shareholders and strong supporters of the Deep Eddy Vodka brand.
We are sorry that the video came across as anything but lighthearted and fun, and will be more aware when giving comedic license to a campaign.”
In the email, the publicist said that after the initial complaints, the company re-edited the video to remove the parts in which the man spits on the woman and where another woman asks him (again) to stop touching her. The final add still toes the line at the end when the woman responds with the line, “It was basically a party in my mouth,” and the host throws a look at the camera that says he’s not thinking about vodka.
While I’m happy the company has taken some kind of action, I’m still not thrilled at the tone because I’ve seen where it comes from. We’ll keep this poll up for posterity’s sake::Take Our Poll