Recent Tweets on @LSEMediaPaL

    Link to LSEMediaPaL on twitter

    I also used to be mediapal on del.ici.ous

    Monday, 3 December 2007

    Nought but her Chanel No 5?: Kidman sues for harm to commercial interests

    The MediaGuardian carried an interesting story on Friday focused on a suit brought by Nicole Kidman against the Daily Telegraph. The newspaper reported that a Jo Malone perfume, and not that advertised for Chanel by Kidman, is in fact the actress' favourite. The piece had also suggested that Chanel was unhappy at the apparent undermining of its brand.

    Its an interesting case because, while Kidman is clearly interested in defending her future access to lucrative contracts, a jury would be asked whether the - presumably false - suggestion that Kidman prefers the second perfume can be considered defamatory (her lawyers considered that it was 'grossly' so). It might reasonably be asked in what way the suggestion lowers the estimation of her in the minds of right-thinking members of the community. Might she ask the jury to infer from the newspaper piece some supposed slur on her honesty? Is this just a warning shot, or are we in for a second Kidman courtroom moment following her recent testimony in an Australian libel action brought by a paparazzo? Doth she protect so much in order to avoid liability for breach of contractual obligations?

    Alteratively, it might be possible to envisage an action in passing-off for false association with the second product... (?) This approach would clearly - and preferably - bring us unquestionably into commercial territory (although there is no link between the newspaper and the other provider). Not that defamation actions can't also protect business / commercial reputations...

    5 comments:

    Andrew Scott said...

    It has been reported in The Times and the Guardian that the Daily Telegraph has paid out a substantial settlement fee to Kidman in respect of her claim. Kidman's lawyer explained that the story implied that she had acted in an unprofessional and disloyal manner by brazenly snubbing Chanel, had flouted the terms of her contract and had proved she could not be trusted to honour it. She is also said to have suffered 'considerable embarassment and distress' at the story which had subsequently proved to have been invented. See:
    -Telegraph pays out to Kidman
    -Kidman wins damages from Telegraph
    -Scent of victory for libelled star

    Edgar Forbes has commented on the business reputation aspects in the Guardian.

    Incidentally, Kidman - and Russell Crowe - have recently been identified by a Forbes report as the most overpaid actors in Holywood (based on an analysis comparing stars’ salaries with the money earned from cinema and DVD sales by their most recent films to produce a measure of their worth to the studio).

    Andrew Scott said...

    Relatedly, it was reported in The Independent a couple of weeks ago that Teri Hatcher - of Desperate Housewives, and formerly Superman and James Bond fame - is being sued by cosmetics firm Hydroderm for breach of contract after she allegedly also advertised a rival firm's products. There's more to the story however. Hatcher alleges that the company has failed to pay what is owed, and is now to seek damages for harm to her reputation alongside her contractual dues.

    Yorkshireman said...

    Ithink we're rapidly moving towards an American style legal system - perhaps newspapers should realise we're not all celebrity obsessed and stop printing rubbish like this.

    Anonymous said...

    One of my buddy's recently got into some trouble at a bar and the short story is he was arrested on assault charges which are ridiculous we were there and watched as a random guy came up to him punched him in the face and began repeatedly beating him. He stood up to defend himself and in the crossfire the wasted dude fell and banged his head on the kerb. The cops show up and don't want to hear us and arrest him.
    It all got cleared up in the end but had that have gone to court and my friend had to have paid court bonds could he have claimed them back or even sued the police force for wrongful arrest? Also where would be the best place for getting bonded?

    Anonymous said...

    What's the world coming to. I think we all understand that advertising is not to be taken literally. I'm sat here drinking coffee overlooking Filey Brigg and even in a remote location like this I can see loads of adverts. If I took them all seriously where would I be.

    There was an error in this gadget