Wednesday, 23 April 2014
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Why Katherine Heigl's Lawsuit Matters to Your Social Media Team PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 07:37
arbuckle_smWhy is a Hollywood actress suing a drug store chain...and what does it mean for you?
This past week Katherine Heigl announced a $6 million dollar lawsuit against the Duane Reade drugstore chain because it posted her photo on its Twitter page along with the caption, “Love a quick #DuaneReade run? Even @KatieHeigl can't resist shopping #NYC's most convenient drug store.”
Sounds innocent enough, right? A simple observation about a celebrity's shopping trip? The actress doesn't think so. She claims the claim is using her image and name for advertising purposes – without her permission. (CNN.com has the full story)
So what is it? Is the actress over-reacting? Was the drug store's post just a harmless social media comment? And why is this important to you and your social media team?
For starters, she's right to protest the unauthorized use of her image when it's construed as an endorsement or advertisement. Had the image/text simply stated that “Guess who we saw at our store today!”, then there might not be as much controversy. But the copy turned a paparazzi moment into a full-blown ad.
And here's why this lawsuit matters to your social media team: It's easy to make this kind of mistake. Chances are that you won't have a high-profile Hollywood run-in this week, but it is wise to set up safeguards for your social media content so that your team doesn't get caught up in a similar situation. Make sure your posters know the difference between reporting and unintentional advertising/endorsements. One simply states the facts, the other implies that the personality you just profiled wholeheartedly endorses your activity.
Keep an eye on this case. It may amount to nothing but a celebrity spat...then again, it may change the way in which social media reporting is conducted.
What are your thoughts? Let me know on Twitter @arbuckwr.
 

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