Pop star sues as 'copycat' ads fail to tickle her pink

People | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 5 Sep 2019

Ariana Grande has sued fashion retailer Forever 21 for using her trademark style to promote its products without her permission, including adverts featuring a "look-alike model."

The pop star is seeking US$10 million (HK$78 million) over claims the brand, and its spin-off cosmetics line Riley Rose, created an online campaign with striking similarities to her videos, such as 7 Rings.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles district court, claims the campaign was intended to trick consumers into believing Grande had endorsed Forever 21's youth-oriented products.

"Even a single social media post by Ms Grande can garner fees of several hundred thousand dollars, and her longer-term endorsement arrangements command fees in the millions of dollars," it said.

Grande has 163 million Instagram followers, making her the most-followed woman on the photo- and video-sharing social media platform.

Images from Forever 21's Instagram account cited by the lawsuit showed a model wearing purple camouflage clothing and a pink headband and boots similar to those worn by Grande in the 7 Rings music video.

The images appear to have been taken down from the company's social media accounts.

A Forever 21 statement denied the allegations, adding that the fashion firm has "worked with [Grande's] licensing company" over the past two years.

"We are hopeful that we will find a mutually agreeable resolution," it added. Forever 21 was earlier reported to be preparing for a bankruptcy filing.

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