The Brazilian soccer legend Pelé is dragging Samsung to court for running a full-page ad in The New York Times that features a lookalike of him. Pelé the 75 year old soccer legend is demanding $30,000,000 from the Korean base electronics giant, claiming that they used his identity without obtaining the rights to do so. The ad does not mention the athlete by name, but it does feature a large, close up image of a man who strongly looks like Pelé juxtaposed with an image of a Samsung television depicting a player using a “modified bicycle or scissors-kick, perfected and mostly used by Pelé.”
They been a lot of argument that the move being performed by the player on the screen is actually a volley, and not a bicycle kick, however it’s very difficult to argue about the strong resemblance the lookalike bears toward the Brazilian. Further adding to Pelé’s case is the fact that he was previously in negotiations with Samsung to use his identity for just such a marketing campaign back in 2013. However, the two never reached an agreement of terms, and Samsung decided to go in a different direction. Pelé’s lawyers are now saying that it’s clear that Samsung simply chose to go with a lookalike and omit the athlete’s name so as to avoid paying compensation for authorized use of Pelé’s identity.
Pelé is being represented by attorney Frederick Sperling, who once grab Michael Jordan $8.9 million when a supermarket chain used the basketball player’s identity in a campaign without Jordan’s being a part to that. “The goal is to obtain fair compensation for the authorized use of Pelé’s identity,” said Sperling, “and to prevent future unauthorized uses.” He claims that unfair use of his client’s identity could reduce the value of his endorsements and mislead consumers.
The question is, what do you think of Samsung’s use of this athlete’s identity without finalizing negotiations? Let us know your take on this lawsuit in the comments below, and as always, stay tuned to FYERZTECH for all the latest goings-on in the tech world.