You know that feeling when you’re shopping at Forever 21 and you spot what you think is a stylish top, only to turn it around and find that its emblazoned with some cheseball graphic, like a unicorn saying, “Live your best life!” in comic sans?
Well, Ariana Grande allegedly experienced that feeling times a million when she went online and found that the company was using her image and likeness in a promotional campaign.
Allow us to explain the situation without the use of a tortured metaphor:
As you may know, Ariana is quite popular on social media.
And by “quite popular,” we mean that Ari’s Instagram following is larger than the population of Russia by about 20 million people.
Anyway, that situation can make for some pretty sweet business opportunities, and celebs who are as popular as Ari have been known to pull in seven-figures for a single sponsored post.
Let that be a lesson to all you kids starting college this week:
It’s a total waste of money, and you should be focusing all of your time and energy on becoming famous.
Anyway, Forever 21 wanted to strike an endorsement deal with Ari, but not surprisingly, the company couldn’t afford her.
Now, the singer has filed suit alleging that the company basically went ahead with the campaign without her permission.
Lawyers allege for Grande allege that the clothing retailer launched a “misleading campaign across its website and social media platforms primarily in January and February 2019.”
They also allege that “the campaign capitalized on the concurrent success of Ms. Grande’s album Thank U, Next by publishing at least 30 unauthorized images and videos misappropriating Ms. Grande’s name, image, likeness, and music in order to create the false perception of her endorsement.”
Ariana’s attorneys claim the company falsely suggested” Grande’s endorsement by posting photos of a “look-alike model” sporting clothing similar to what the singer wore in her “7 Rings” video.
They say Grande discovered the infringement herself” in February and immediately contacted her legal team.
The suit confirms that Forever 21 approached Grande about an endorsement deal earlier this year, but Ari was all, “thank u, next.”
“Given her stature, influence, and social media following, the market value for even a single Instagram post by Ms. Grande is well into the six figures, and she commands in the mid-seven figures to over eight figures for longer-term endorsement deals, marketing campaigns, and/or licensing deals for use of her name and likeness,” the documents read.
A deal was never reached, and Grande is now seeking damages of $10 million.
That translates to roughly 500,000 tank tops with “Live, Laugh, Love” bedazzled across the front.
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