In the age where moment marketing is the way-to-go for multiple brands, some might find themselves in trouble since ace shuttler PV Sindhu may take them to court for capitalizing on her popularity without permission or in other words, doing ‘moment marketing’ using her bronze medal win in the Tokyo Olympics 2021. Reports suggest that Perfetti Van Melle, P&G, Pan Bahar, and Aditya Birla Group are some of the brands that may be implicated.
On behalf of PV Sindhu Baseline Ventures will be sending legal notices to companies
Baseline Ventures, the sports marketing agency that manages all commercial deals for Sindhu, will be sending legal notices on her behalf, seeking damages worth ₹5 crore from each of these companies. “We are surprised that such leading Indian and global firms are resorting to such forms of communication to associate with our athletes, which is in complete breach of their IPR and privacy,” Baseline Ventures managing director Tuhin Mishra told the Economic Times.
We will do everything possible to protect our athletes and their rights- Mishra
Unlike the case of Dominos and Mirabai Chanu where the pizza brand inked a digital activation pact with the 26-year-old weightlifter later, Sindhu’s case establishes that these kinds of posts come at a cost for the player who already has several brand associations. “In a way, these tactics are also unfair to genuine firms who have supported the athlete round the year. Would these very firms try the same gimmicks with some of our leading cricketers? I doubt it. It’s time we all stand up to such unethical practices and we will do everything possible to protect our athletes and their rights,” Mishra added.
However, this is not the first time when brands have been sued for using celebrities or sports athletes. Many brand experts call such practices gimmicky, as they seek to latch on the popularity of the celebrity, without getting into a commercial deal with them.
A celebrity’s name, voice, image, or other personal attributes cannot be exploited without their permission
The ET report also quoted Kaushik Moitra, partner at law firm Bharucha & Partners, “The right of publicity has also evolved from the right of privacy, which is a fundamental right in India. Additionally, a celebrity holds a copyright in their performance and is entitled to restrain others from exploiting their intellectual property for commercial purposes. Thus, a celebrity’s name, voice, image, or other personal attributes cannot be exploited without their permission.”