Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wine & Spirits Memo: A 'Trump Vodka' In The Buff Promotion Puts "The Donald' in the Rough

Lesson number five in the art of business warfare courtesy of real estate, reality show, golf course, modeling agency, swimsuit pageant and premium vodka mogul Donald Trump: 'If all else fails, blame the naked girl.'

It seems 'The Donald,' who not too long ago added premium vodka brand marketer to his numerous business enterprises, threw a very big Superbowl party, with his Trump brand super-premium Vodka as the adult beverage of choice for the partygoers.

Not everyone attending Trump's premium vodka-infused Super Bowl party was an adult though. In fact, the one person it later turned out wasn't of age, stood out at the party as much or more so than the mogul's Vodka, which like all of his ventures has his last name attached to it.

And stand out in a big way she did. According to TMZ, which has verified the story with Trump's PR people and the vodka brands' marketer and distributor, a 17 year old girl was at the party walking around completely naked, except for Trump Vodka logos painted all over her body. She was serving samples of the premium vodka to Trump's guests, wearing just her birthday suit. Trump Vodka logos were body-painted on her in what we hear were "strategic" locations. Donald Trump was at the party and does not dispute he saw the nudegirl there.

Trump, through his representatives, tells TMZ he knew nothing about the nude girl's coming to his Super Bowl party, although he saw her there, sans her clothes. He says she is probably just "a publicity whore."

Trump's spokesperson told TMZ the naked party girl, Chanell Elain Hallet, crashed the party and just happened to have her body painted with Trump Vodka stickers. 'Given the circumstances, we can only guess that she crashed the event to seek publicity for herself," the Trump spokesman told TMZ. There was no mention however from the spokesperson as to how and why the nude party crasher was allowed to walk around and serve guests free samples of the vodka.

Here is the explanation form Trump's representative and Drinks Americas, the marketer and distributor of Trump Vodka. Trump has a licensing arrangement with the company. (Trump also licenses his name for a line of premium steaks and a line of men's suits.)

"Drinks Americas contracted with modeling agency, Professional Event Marketing of Scottsdale, Arizona, to hire three promotional models, all over the age of 21, to be opaquely painted with logos for this event. the three woman we contacted through the agency were to promote the brand throughout the evening. All three were in attendance. We do not know why Miss Hallett was there, but she was not there having been hired or working for us. Given the circumstances, we can only guess she crashed the event to get publicity for herself. We are appalled and always work hard to adhere to our social and civic responsibilities as a premium alcoholic beverage marketing company."

We only have one question for "The Donald' about the whole incident: Why didn't you just look the Trump Vodka logo-covered naked girl right in her eyes and say: "You're Fired?"

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