An Israeli court has dismissed Nestlé’s application to prevent the broadcast of Espresso Club's advertisement featuring a George Clooney doppelganger.

The ad follows the bumbling actor’s discovery of Espresso Club coffee machines as his car is mercilessly towed away. Nestlé had argued that the parody of Nespresso advertisements was misleading because of Clooney’s association with the brand.

In Australia, Paul Hogan successfully restricted the airing of a TV advertisement for Grosby Shoes which incorporated a parody of Crocodile Dundee’s “that’s not a knife!” scene. In that case, Gummow J found that although viewers would know that Paul Hogan was not in the advertisement, they would still think that he had consented to the advertisement and was endorsing Grosby shoes.

If Espresso Club’s advertisement had been aired in Australia, it is likely that Nestlé would have adopted a similar argument.

Do consumers really think that a spoof advertisement conveys an actual endorsement by the actor being portrayed? And should competitors be prevented from targeting a first mover’s investment in a celebrity? Head over to our LinkedIn group to discuss.

Tom Johnston
Lawyer

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