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Skyy Vodka Ad

March 23rd, 2000

Skyy Vodka, Inc.
2822 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 931-2000

Dear public relations coordinator:

I am writing in regards to the advertisement released by your company entitled #49 Riviera Rendezvous. I am appalled by the image that I first came upon while walking on the streets of New York City. It was life-size and blatantly sexist. To my relief, I have not seen it anywhere else at this time but am sure that there are multiple ads and that other people are viewing the picture with an equal amount of disgust. The image itself is not just selling your alcoholic drink; it is perpetuating an unrealistic picture of alcohol and its effects. The advertisement is both offensive and degrading to women. The man in the picture is standing directly over the woman with a clear erection, tightly grasping the glasses in one hand, the alcohol in the other. The half-naked woman, sporting what appear to be artificially large breasts, is under the man’s spell and seemingly unconscious. Aside from it being glaringly offensive, it is also fiscally unsound as it alienates a significant portion of your clientele.

This is not the first time that your company has received negative responses to the advertisements, which you create. It seems there was another specific portrait depicting two women in an unflattering image. “Inner Peace” #23 is anything but peaceful. I am not going to elaborate on what is blatantly an issue of inferiority between two women from two different ethnic backgrounds. I saw it the other day in an issue of Vanity Fair magazine, dated August 1999. I hope that it has since been discontinued from magazines and elsewhere. I am asking specifically that you take responsibility for these degrading images of women. You are selling alcohol, not sex, not status, and certainly not submissive women.

I request a formal apology for the offensive advertisement and ask for its removal from the eyes of the public. It is demeaning to women. We are not sex objects and this ad is clearly an objectification of a woman, her body parts, and her inferiority to a man. Unless I receive a satisfactory response, I will boycott Skyy Vodka and inform the public of this issue. I can assure you that I already am off to a good start.

 

Skyy’s Response:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding the advertisement “Riviera Rendezvous.” We have reviewed your comments in detail and considered them carefully in relation to this ad.

This particular advertisement will not appear in any future print publications, outdoor, postcards in the United States. Please understand magazines that have gone to press, but have yet appeared on newsstands are beyond our control. One publication went to print on March 24. It will be promptly removed from our website.

The SKYY Vodka advertising campaign is comprised of a series of cinematic images shot by renowned glamour photographer Moshe Brakha. Our goal with the SKYY Vodka campaign is to reach a consumer with an entertaining image. All our ads depict a potential scene from a movie. Like the colorful but exaggerated world of film, our ads are rich and dramatic. No copy is used, no claims are made, it is simply SKYY Vodka bringing you this moment to catch your attention.

If you have discussed this issue with others, we would appreciate your telling them the action we have taken and our commitment to be a responsible company.

Sincerely,

Sue Hearn
Public Relations Manager

Sue Hearn
SKYY Spirits
Public Relations/Events Manager
415-931-2000 X123
sueh@skyy.com