As if the Kardashians weren’t already everywhere, oldest daughter Kim has invaded the LA courts with a lawsuit against Old Navy. Kim’s people claim the company intentionally used a look-alike in their marketing campaign, tricking consumers into thinking she was affiliated with them. Not only does Kim feel they used her likeness and persona, her camp feels this campaign will confuse consumers and negatively affect her actual endorsements. Kim wants $15-$20 million dollars in damages, alleging that Old Navy profited off her celebrity.
Whether or not Kim will win this suit remains to be seen, but what do we think about Old Navy’s actions here? The girl in the ad does look like Kim Kardashian, and I did do a double take when I saw the commercial. Perhaps if I were a Kim fan, it would entice me to visit the store. Also, the ad on YouTube has been viewed 2 million times, arguably creating lots of buzz and getting consumers to see the store’s products at the same time.
I’m sure this isn’t the first time a celebrity’s likeness has been used in the media. Just recently a political ad came out with a Morgan Freeman sound-alike! Not only did it come from a party Freeman does not support, his people want to make it clear it’s not the actor’s legendary voice.
Controversy or not, it seems to me Old Navy and companies like them have found a crafty way to promote their products. It will be interesting to see Old Navy’s consequences as the legal process gets underway.