And Judge Lenard has it.
Here are the claims in a nutshell:
While on the hit TV show the “Jersey Shore” and as in his everyday life, Sorrentino (along with other cast members) occasionally wore Abercrombie brand clothing.Starting August 2011, Defendant embarked on a grand, worldwide advertising campaign using Sorrentino’s name, image and likeness to create brand awareness for its products by falsely claiming that Defendant had offered money to Sorrentino if he would stop wearing Defendant’s goods.Defendant concocted this false advertising campaign using the name and image of Sorrentino, to promote and advertise Defendant’s stores and its products. This advertising campaign claimed that Sorrentino was contrary to the “aspirational nature of the (Abercrombie) brand”.As part of the campaign, on August 12, 2011 stories were written by the press stating that the advertising campaign was a “marketing ploy” designed “to further (Abercrombie’s) name into the marketplace with one of the hottest brands on tv” which was intentionally and strategically released at the peak of the back to school season. A true and correct copy of the press release is attached hereto as Exhibit “B” and hereafter called the “Press Release”As part of the marketing ploy, Defendant contacted representatives of MTV (the network that distributes the “Jersey Shore”) and allegedly offered to pay money to the Sorrentino if he would stop wearing Abercrombie brand clothing while on the show and at other times.That offer was never made to Sorrentino, nor was it ever conveyed to Sorrentino by a representative of Defendant.Defendant claimed in the press release that by wearing Abercrombie clothing, Sorrentino would be “causing significant damage” to the image of the Abercrombie brand. In essence, Defendant’s campaign was to make the ridiculous claim that Sorrentino was not worthy enough to wear Abercrombie clothing or that Sorrentino was so undesirable that wearing Abercrombie clothing would cause “damage” to Defendant. The center piece of the advertising campaign was the huge success and popularity of Sorrentino. The falsity of the advertising campaign is further demonstrated by Defendants actions to (at the same time that they are claiming that Sorrentino was damaging their image) attempt to associate themselves with Sorrentino by openly advertising specifically designed t-shirts using the Plaintiffs’ Marks.