E*Trade Financial Corporation ran a memorable ad during the 2010 NFL Super Bowl in which a baby boy and a baby girl are chatting online via the use of a web camera. The dialogue between the two babies, who have the voices of adults, is as follows:
Baby boy: “So, yea, sorry about last night.”
Baby girl: “I just don’t understand why you didn’t call last night.”
Baby boy: “I was on E*Trade, you know, diversifying my portfolio, taking control like a wolf.”
Baby girl: “Right.”
Baby boy: “That volatility in the market, taken care of, wolf-style . . . (howls).”
Baby girl: “And that milkaholic Lindsay wasn’t over?”
Baby boy: “Lindsay?” Second baby girl pops in front of the web camera:
“Milkawhat?” Lindsay Lohan, a 23-year-old actress who has
Been required to attend drug rehabilitation programs and has served time in jail for various drug charges, has filed a $100 million suit against E*Trade for appropriation of her likeness and image. Ms. Lohan’s lawyers have statements from friends and others who indicate that Ms. Lohan was the first person who came to mind when they saw the ad. Is this appropriation?
This is definitely an appropriation issue. According to Jennings, “appropriation is using someone’s name, likeness, or voice for commercial advantage without his or her permission.” It is obvious by the ad that Lindsay’s name and likeness were used without her permission. I do not think Lindsay will grant E*Trade Corporation permission to describe her as a drug addict that needs rehabilitation on national TV.
This is a violation to Lindsay’s privacy. E* Trade Corporation used the actress’s image for commercial purposes. The fact that the commercial talks negative about Lindsay and without her permission can be interpret as damages to her image.