Gap Settles Kim Kardashian’s Old Navy Ad Likeness Suit

By Joseph Mandour on August 29, 2012

old-navy-thumb-200x159-47727 San Diego – The Gap Inc. last week put to rest reality television star Kim Kardashian’s legal action alleging the company’s Old Navy subsidiary ran a television commercial featuring an actress who looks so similar to Kardashian that her rights of publicity were violated.

Judge Dale S. Fischer of the Central District of California dismissed Kardashian’s suit on Tuesday, after her counsel told the court on Friday that the parties had struck a settlement deal, without going into any further detail.

Kardashian stars in “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” which her 2011 complaint against the Gap claims to be the most-watched series in the history of its cable channel, E! Entertainment Television. The show has helped her attain “an extraordinary level” of popularity and fame, with over eight million Twitter followers, the complaint notes.

In February 2011 the Gap launched a multimedia advertising campaign to promote its Old Navy apparel and fashion products, allegedly using Kardashian’s likeness, identity and persona without her consent, according to the complaint. Kardashian alleged violations of the Lanham Act for unfair competition, as well as California’s right of publicity statute.

The Old Navy commercial “Super C-U-T-E” stars model Melissa Molinaro, another reality television personality, who has been featured in “Making the Band 3” and “Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll.” The ad spot is still available to view on YouTube.

In addition to featuring Molinaro as a “celebrity lookalike,” the ad incorporated various elements of Kardashian’s persona and identity into its visual presentation and storyline, the complaint says.

The commercial immediately received substantial interest and attention from the media and the consuming public, as a direct result of the Gap’s use of a Kardashian lookalike, according to the complaint.

The Gap knowingly and intentionally took steps to exacerbate and perpetuate the confusion over whether it really was Kardashian in the commercial, the complaint says.

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