On June 28, Blake Lively announced that she was adding alcoholic beverages to her company’s famously non-alcoholic product line. The actress originally created Betty Buzz two years ago so people who don’t partake in drinking could still feel connected to people at parties. The original products were mixers and tonics made specifically to be enjoyed with or without adding alcohol.
For me, I don’t drink because I don’t like the effects of alcohol, but I like being a part of it. I like being social, I like people coming together. Interestingly, I found that sometimes not drinking — it was a little alienating… maybe it’s just in your own head, but you don’t feel a part of it.Blake Lively
Lively has been openly sober for many years so it came as a shock to consumers when she announced the alcoholic additions, Betty Booze. The alcoholic beverages come in three flavors made with real juice, premium bourbon whiskey, and real juice. The company claims there are no artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors.
“Drinking isn’t my thing. But for f**** sake, flavor is. Homemade recipes. Real fruit. Real ingredients. Quality booze. No crap. Also, a real time saver. Which is why I did it.”Blake Lively
The actresses’ statement rubbed some customers the wrong way. Many unsatisfied patrons accused her of making an easy cash grab.
“I don’t understand not drinking, but having a line of booze? Genuinely confused.”Instagram User
“If flavor is just “your thing” and not drinking, why, oh why on earth do you endorse an alcoholic beverage?”Instagram User
Lively was also accused of making products only for profit when she announced Betty Buzz in 2021. The ad she originally aired to launch the non-alcoholic booze line was made by her husband’s ad agency, Maximum Effort. In the ad, she demonstrated her mixers by using her husband’s alcohol brand, Aviation Gin, as the alcoholic beverage. The ad had both Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds accused of being money-hungry celebrities.
The actress isn’t alone in criticism from fans. Jennifer Lopez was also condemned after releasing her alcoholic brand Delola. Many consumers thought it was odd that she did this after being so public about staying sober. She also launched her alcohol line after marrying recovering alcoholic, Ben Affleck. The two factors contributed to a disappointing start to the singer’s business venture.
Both actresses stand accused of making a money grab. However, many celebrities have started their own alcohol companies or invested in them. George Clooney sold his tequila company Casamigos to spirits and the company Diageo for $700 million dollars. If the booze continues to sell well, the actor is promised $300 million yearly. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt shared a wine company together and the actress sold her stake for $164 million after the couple’s divorce. Blake Lively’s own husband sold his company for $600 million. He and the shareholders split $335 million with the potential to earn an additional $257 million.
In conclusion, celebrities buying shares, selling booze companies, or simply endorsing alcohol brands is nothing new. And while the frustration of blatantly making alcohol purely for profit is understandable, does it really matter when the intention has always been understood but unspoken?
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