Residents of Las Vegas, Nevada, may know of celebrities who are asked to endorse products in exchange for a fee. The terms of the endorsement contract are usually negotiated by a talent management company and reduced to writing.
At times, endorsement contracts are not performed as envisioned, and lawsuits follow. This was the case with a famous country singer and a new distilled spirits brand. The singer was retained as an “ambassador” of a new brand of vodka in 2015. A written contract was entered with the singer and a management company.
The contract by the company envisioned a more comprehensive relationship with the singer than producing a single commercial: The company envisioned attendance by the singer at various public events, including the product launch event. It also envisioned strategic product placement through social media and endorsement at public gatherings, such as music awards events.
The vodka manufacturer quickly believed the singer was not performing her end of the contract. It raised questions as to her commitment to the agreement and eventually cancelled the contract. It subsequently filed suit against her for breach of contract. Among the allegations were her failure to mention the product during interviews or public appearances, failure to be seen with the product in popular photos and failure to promote the product on various social media sites. The case was settled before trial in September 2018.
The terms of the contract control the performance of the parties. This is especially true in business contracts. Those who are unsure of what performance may be required have the option of a contract review by a business attorney to explain rights and duties.
Source: Radaronline.com, “Country Singer Kacey Musgraves Sued for Fraud and Breach of Contract in $100k Lawsuit Radar Staff, May 1, 2019.