Recent negative press reporting over “Cold Feet” star John Thomson may have caused Lloyds TSB to check the contract covering Thomson’s recent appearances in their advertising.
Topic: Personality rights
Who: Lloyds TSB and "Cold Feet" actor John Thomson
When: October 2002
Having signed a contract with "Cold Feet" actor John Thomson for him to appear in their new multi-million TV campaign, Lloyds TSB must have been none too impressed to read newspaper reports concerning Thomson alleging a drink driving charge and a drunken "rampage" at home. It is not yet clear whether this will lead to any change of plan so far as the campaign is concerned, but Lloyds TSB and its ad agency will no doubt be consulting the contract which was, one imagines, entered into with John before shooting for the campaign commenced.
Why this matters:
Not for the first time, brand owners who pay for the right to link a high profile personality with their brand have to undergo the flipside of the deal in terms of potential negative impact on the brand of lurid tabloid coverage of the personality's unattractive conduct.
Advertisers looking to cover off all the options will normally ensure that the talent contract contains detailed provisions entitling the advertiser to protect its position in circumstances like this. Advertisers may also want to investigate the possibility of insurance cover. Also, when it comes to the contractual provisions surrounding the payment of fees, they may want to consider instalment payments over the period of usage rather than paying it all up front. There would then be accompanying provisions entitling them to stop paying those instalments should embarrassing conduct occur.
Another aspect to cover off in "disgrace" provisions is the coming to light, during the period when the advertising material is being used, of any information as to the performer's past which may impact adversely on the advertiser or its products.