Leo Burnett Co. and its client Oldsmobile found out the hard way that even though a celebrity changes his name, you might not be able to use the abandoned name without asking.
Former basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is suing both the agency and client for using his given name – Lew Alcindor – in ads earlier this spring that compared a Delta 88 with the star as legends.
Jabbar claims they used his name without asking, and is suing both in court in L.A.
Jabbar reportedly wants the profits generated from the ads and another $8 million in punitive damages.
Burnett wouldn’t comment on the pending litigation.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)