Some Do’s and Don’ts of “free” Celebrity Endorsements

Category: Commercial Litigation

In this age of seemingly endless social media outlets, the pressure to capture a celebrity endorsement “freeby” can be enormous.  But beware.  As present as they can seek to be in the public eye, celebrities covet their identities and every form of likeness. This doesn’t have to take the wind out of your social media marketing sails.  Just be careful, and considerate.

Look to grab opportunities that present themselves legitimately.  Keep an eye out for unsolicited endorsements, as these interactions are free game, but remember not to abuse.

Don’t step into a right of publicity claim.  Just because a celebrity has been photographed using your product, or is otherwise associated with it, doesn’t mean you’ve just stumbled on a free endorsement.  And don’t assume that a small, limited mention won’t be noticed.  Many celebrities have staff tasked with monitoring social media for just such unauthorized uses of their identities.

Be polite. If a celebrity asks you to remove social media content that mentions them, do so promptly and without fuss.  This is both the best way to avoid a dispute, and may build a bridge toward a future relationship or, even, authorized endorsement.

Don’t rush.  The time that it takes to request permission from a celebrity to use their persona to promote your business is well worth it if it helps you avert a dispute or even create a relationship.


Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Because of the generality of this article, the information it provides may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations. 

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