Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin felt like suing, not toasting, when he saw an ad from Ammirati Puris Lintas for Bacardi-Martini U.S.A.
One of the first men to walk on the moon, Aldrin is a recovering alcoholic who lectures on alcohol and drug addiction. As such, he will not endorse alcoholic beverages.
APL in New York used an altered version of the photo of Aldrin on the moon's surface with the reflection of the Eagle lunar module in his visor in a print ad this spring. NASA, the owner of the image, requires anyone using its photos for commercial purposes to obtain permission from any "identifiable" subject.
In the ad, the real reflection is replaced with a model in a bikini lounging on a beach. The tagline is, "Just add Bacardi."
A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Orange County, Calif., alleges both agency and client had "intent to cause confusion, mistake and deception," and that Bacardi violated a 1994 agreement not to use Aldrin's image, brokered after the ex-astronaut lodged a similar complaint.
APL said only that the suit was "without merit." --Sloane Lucas