Pelé sues Samsung over ‘lookalike’ ad, demands $30 million

Usually when we report about Samsung’s legal headaches, Apple is involved. But not this time…

Pelé has filed a lawsuit against Samsung for $30 million in a dispute over “an improperly used look-alike” in an advertisement, Reuters reports.

The retired Brazilian football legend, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, claims his likeness was used in the New York Times ad “without permission”.

peleThe advertisement in question

The ad does not mention Pelé by name, but features a portrait of a man who looks very similar to the retired footballer, set alongside a TV screen of a football match.

According to the complaint, Samsung “placed the October ad for ultra high-definition televisions after breaking off negotiations in 2013 to use Pelé’s identity to promote its products”.

pelePele in 2010

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The complaint was filed on March 16 in federal court in Chicago, with Pelé’s lawyer Frederick Sperling saying:

“The goal is to obtain fair compensation for the unauthorised use of Pelé’s identity, and to prevent future unauthorised uses.”

Do you think Samsung has been sneaky? Let us know in the comments.