Grande claims the ad, left, was “strikingly similar” to her music video, right. (Facebook/YouTube)
Ariana Grande has sued Forever 21 for $US10 million ($14 million), accusing the fashion retailer and a beauty company started by its billionaire founders’ daughters of piggybacking off her fame and influence to sell their wares.
- The Forever 21 ads featured in an online and social media campaign that ran earlier this year
- Grande’s team claimed the company used her lyrics and image to promote their clothing
- It said the ads came after a breakdown in negotiations over a joint marketing campaign
In a complaint filed on Monday, Grande said Forever 21 and Riley Rose misappropriated her name, image, likeness and music, including by employing a “strikingly similar” looking model in a website and social media campaign early this year.
She said this followed the breakdown of talks for a joint marketing campaign because Forever 21 would not pay enough for “a celebrity of Ms Grande’s stature”, whose longer-term endorsements generate millions of dollars in fees.
A post on Forever 21’s Facebook page, left, compared with the 7 rings clip, right. (Facebook/YouTube)
Grande has more than 65 million Twitter followers and 163 million Instagram followers.
A core part of the 26-year-old’s fan base overlaps Forever 21’s and Riley Rose’s target markets.
“Forever 21 does not comment on pending litigation as per company policy,” the company said in a statement.
“That said, while we dispute the allegations, we are huge supporters of Ariana Grande and have worked with her licensing company over the past two years.
“We are hopeful that we will find a mutually agreeable resolution and can continue to work together in the future.”
Forever 21, which recently reported having 815 stores in 57 countries, was founded by Do Won and Jin Sook Chang in 1984, and the pair are now worth $1.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Their daughters, Linda and Esther Chang, opened the first Riley Rose boutique in 2017.
Riley Rose did not immediately respond on Tuesday to emailed requests for comment.
Forever 21 disputes the claim its ads, such as the one left, misused Grande’s image. (Facebook/YouTube)
According to Grande’s complaint, Forever 21 and Riley Rose misappropriated at least 30 images and videos, including by using audio and lyrics from her recent song 7 Rings, and by using the look-alike model.
“The resemblance is uncanny,” the complaint said.
Grande’s lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court seeks damages for copyright and trademark infringement, false endorsement, and violating her right of publicity.
Grande’s legal team said the similarities between the video and the ads was “uncanny”.