A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Sep 6, 2019

Pop Star Files $10Million Lawsuit Against Retailer For Using Look-Alike Model

If tech companies can sue to protect their intellectual property like image, look and feel, why can't anyone else? JL

Rachel Sandler reports in Forbes:

Pop star Ariana Grande is suing Forever 21 for allegedly stealing her image after she turned down an endorsement deal with the company, which in one case hired a model that looks like her to promote the retailer’s clothing and accessories on social media.The lawsuit alleges that Forever 21 hired a “look-alike model” and styled her to resemble Grande in her 7 Rings music video for a social media ad-campaign. The captions in such social media posts also featured lyrics to Grande’s songs. Both instances amount to Forever 21 misappropriating Grande’s name, image, likeness and music in order to create the false perception of her endorsement.
Pop star Ariana Grande is suing Forever 21 for allegedly stealing her image after she turned down an endorsement deal with the company, which in one case hired a model that looks like her to promote the retailer’s clothing and accessories on social media, the lawsuit says.
  • Grande is asking for $10 million in damages.
  • The lawsuit alleges that Forever 21 hired a “look-alike model” and styled her to resemble Grande in her 7 Rings music video for a social media ad-campaign in early 2019.
  • The suit also says Forever 21 used at least 30 images and videos of Grande on Instagram even though the company did not own the rights to them.
  • The captions in such social media posts also featured lyrics to Grande’s songs. 
  • Both instances amount to Forever 21 misappropriating Grande’s name, image, likeness and music in order to create the false perception of her endorsement, the lawsuit says.

Forever 21 declined to comment.
The Details: In early 2019, the complaint says, Grande declined an endorsement deal with Forever 21 because the company wouldn’t pay “fair market value.” Instead of paying Grande, the lawsuit says, Forever 21 launched a “misleading campaign” to suggest that Grande had endorsed the company when she had not.
Grande is also suing Riley Rose, the beauty company started by the daughters of Forever 21’s founders.
Key Background: It’s been a rocky year for Forever 21, which is privately owned and may file for bankruptcy amid plummeting sales. According to Forbes, married founders Do Won and Jin Sook Chang are worth $1.5 billion.


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