“Bachelor” Star Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Downey
On September 15, 2021, model and former “Bachelor” contestant Hannah Ann Sluss (“Sluss”) sued Procter & Gamble Company, Inc. (“P&G”) for copyright infringement, claiming that P&G is still using her image to sell products, even though its license to do so has long since expired.
According to Sluss’s complaint, she licensed one of her modeling photos to P&G to be used on a single product from October 1, 2017, to October 1, 2019, but P&G continued to use it after her popularity exploded from her appearance on the hit ABC reality TV show, “The Bachelor.” Sluss was one of the top two “finalists” in Season 24 of The Bachelor (Winter 2020). Sluss further alleges that the image of her jogging was used on at least six products as well as in advertising and marketing materials after the license expired. Included as defendants in the lawsuit for selling the products with the allegedly infringing image are CVS Pharmacy, Target, and Walmart.
According to Sluss, P&G’s use of her image jogging in its “Life Gets Stinky” campaign would have required disclosure, approval, and additional fees, as is customary in the advertising industry, especially when an image used is for personal hygiene products such as detergent. She further alleges that the infringement was made “especially egregious” by associating her with the word “stinky.”
Prior to her appearance on “The Bachelor” in January 2020, Sluss made a living as a model. Then, following her appearance on the show, which took her to a new level of fame and vastly increased her following on social media, she discovered her image was still being used by Downy on multiple products.
The case is Hannah Ann Sluss et al. v. The Procter & Gamble Company Inc. et al., case number 2:21-cv-07406, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Sluss is represented by Robert E. Allen, Thomas P. Burke Jr., and Christopher N. McAndrew of Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP.
Counsel for the defendants is not yet identified.
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