Mumbai: P V Sindhu, the ace shuttler who became the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals earlier this week, is considering legal action against some leading brands and companies for unauthorized use of her name and images for marketing purposes.
Some of these firms include Happydent-maker Perfetti Van Melle, Vicks-maker P&G, Pan Bahar, Apollo Hospitals, and Aditya Birla Group, among others.
Baseline Ventures, the sports marketing agency that handles Sindhu’s all commercial deals, will send legal notices on her behalf, seeking damages of Rs 5 crore from each of these companies, according to The Economic Times.
Baseline Ventures MD Tuhin Mishra confirmed this development to ABP News without elaborating anything further.
While many fans, including leading industrialists and companies, congratulated the athlete on social media, these brands used their logos and brand names alongside the athlete, which is known as ‘moment marketing.’
According to marketing experts, Brands enter the ongoing conversation to capitalize on ongoing events by developing communications and marketing collateral around such events.
When asked about the legal options, Ashish Kumar Singh, Managing Partner, Capstone Legal, told ABP News, “For infringement of registered trademark, a suit under Section 134 of the Trademark Act can be filed. Lawsuits in case of passing off are filed before the Court under Section 135 of the Act. These remedies include claiming damages from the entity which has illegally used the name. Moreover, under the Copyright Act, 1957, the term performer can be used to include sportspersons such as Sindhu.
Last month, Domino’s announced free pizza for life for silver medalist Mirabai Chanu and later inked a digital activation pact with the 26-year-old weightlifter, making it her first deal following her podium finish in Tokyo Olympics.
This isn’t the first time a company has been sued for using celebrities or athletes. Many brand experts label such practices as gimmicky because they seek to capitalize on the celebrity’s popularity without entering into a commercial agreement with them.