Clint Eastwood had earlier accused a California-based marketing company of misusing his image and likeness to promote cannabis-based products and oils.
Clint Eastwood has won a second lawsuit against digital marketers who used his likeness to promote a range of cannabis-related products, including CBD oils.
As LegalReader.com has reported before, Eastwood and Garpatta—the company that owns the rights to Eastwood’s name and image–say that the 92-year-old actor and producer never gave his permission to the defendants.
According to Vanity Fair, the latest verdict awards Eastwood and Garpatta an estimated $2 million in damages.
The claim, adds Vanity Fair, was filed against California-based marketing company Norok Innovation, which had allegedly leveraged Eastwood’s celebrity to drive online traffic using a so-called “hidden metatag game.”
IndieWire reports that, in his ruling, U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney awarded Eastwood and Garpatta $2 million, writing that such an amount “is a reasonable representation of the fair market value of Mr. Eastwood’s services in lending his influential and well-known name to a hidden metatag campaign for products he likely would have been unwilling to endorse in the first place.”
Norok purportedly assisted in the creation and propagation of news articles and manipulated search results which made it appear as if Eastwood had personally endorsed different CBD products.
“Without Mr. Eastwood’s knowledge of permission, online retailers of CBD products strategically place Mr. Eastwood’s name within blog posts and webpage meta descriptions (content that describes and summarizes the contents of a given webpage for the benefit of users and search engines to locate) as a means to promote CBD products and guide customers to an online marketplace that sells CBD products,” Eastwood’s legal team wrote in the filing.
“Like many of his famous characters, Mr. Eastwood is not afraid to confront wrongdoing and hold accountable those that try to illegally profit off his name,” said the lawsuit, which was filed in January of last year.
Eastwood’s representatives noted that the actor lends his image to any product endorsements. Vanity Fair notes that Eastwood’s most recent endorsement was a Super Bowl advertisement for Chrysler, which aired in 2012.
Eastwood attorney Jordan Susman said that the actor is pleased with the verdict.
“We are pleased with the Court’s decision as it recognizes the substantial harm that false endorsements cause,” Susman said. “It further sends a message to such offenders that they cannot evade liability by ignoring the legal system. This is a judgment we look forward to collecting.”
Vanity Fair reports that, in October of 2021, Eastwood secured a similar, $6.1 million dollar award in a lawsuit against Lithuanian-based Mediatonas UAB, which had also featured Eastwood in misleading articles related to cannabis products.
While that judge agreed that Eastwood should be entitled to damages for the unlicensed use of his image, the court dismissed Eastwood’s accompanying defamation claim, saying that “additional context” was needed to understand “why a person like Clint Eastwood would not endorse a marijuana-based product.”
Vanity Fair notes that Eastwood still has several pending lawsuits, filed against CBD marketing companies as well as the CBD producers themselves.