According to reports the actress Charlize Theron is being sued by Raymond Weil for allegedly breaking an endorsement deal to wear only its watches. For the latest on whether Raymond Weil is being two-timed.
Topic: People in advertising
Who: Raymond Weil company
Where: New York, USA
When: February 2007
In October 2005 the South African actress Charlize Theron signed up to an exclusive endorsement deal with Raymond Weil, the watchmaker, which was reportedly worth a whopping $20 million.
As part of the arrangement, Ms Theron allegedly agreed to wear only Raymond Weil watches in public (which doesn't sound like much of a hardship), and fronted a multimillion-dollar ad campaign for a limited edition line of diamond-covered Shine watches, which sell for $7,000 or more.
Fast forward to 2007, and Raymond Weil have fallen out with their brand representative and are reported to be suing her for fraud and breach of contract in the New York courts, in particular for being seen wearing a diamond covered Dior watch in a Dior perfume advert next to the strapline "Charlize Theron wears Dior".
Why this matters:
This is a good example of the dangers of celebrities entering multiple endorsement deals at the same time, and a reminder that endorsement / talent contracts should be tightly drafted to ensure that the brand owner gets the exclusivity that they are paying for.