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 October 28

by Carolina

28 October 2022

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP


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We all know a person that can be unpredictable and erratic. It
can be fun to hang out with that person occasionally, because
you’ll likely have funny stories to share with your friends the
next morning, but you probably wouldn’t want to be married to
them, because those same stories are less funny when you share them
with your divorce lawyer. The same is probably true with
relationships between brands and some celebrities.

In 2013, Adidas entered into a relationship with Kanye West to
create Yeezy-branded shoe and clothing collections. Although it was
a lucrative relationship, Kanye has said and done some things in
the years since then that must have had the brand cringing. After
Kanye made series of anti-Semitic tweets and comments, Adidas
decided it had had enough and called its divorce lawyers. The
relationship officially ended this week.

Although we don’t know the details about how the
relationship ended, it’s possible that Adidas had to rely on a
morals clause in its agreement with Kanye. Morals clauses generally
give companies the right to terminate an agreement, if a celebrity
commits an act that falls within the scope of the clause. Given
what’s at stake, the scope of that clause can be one of the
most-negotiated provisions in these agreements.

Celebrities naturally want the clauses to be as narrow and
specific as possible. (For example, a clause might only kick in if
a celebrity is convicted of, or pleads guilty to, a felony.) This
type of clause, though, won’t necessarily help if a celebrity
just makes offensive statements. Thus, companies want more
flexibility. (For example, they may push for a clause that allows
termination if the endorser’s actions would reflect negatively
on the company.)

Although these type of clauses can be helpful in cases when you
want to break up with a celebrity, it’s better to avoid that
situation. Think carefully before you get into bed with a
celebrity, so to speak. Check them out on social media; get the
scoop from their previous partners; know what you’re getting
into. Hopefully, when the relationship ends, you’ll look back
fondly at the good times and you won’t feel the need to go back
and cut that celebrity out of all the pictures you took
together.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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