Thursday, October 2, 2008
Carefully orchestrated product placement isn't insidious enough for some retailers. Now, New Age entrepreneurs quietly pay high-priced celebrities to subliminally hawk their wares.
Mmmmm, doesn't Nicole Kidman's perfume smell divine? Product placement.
And that to-die-for Charlize Theron bling? Product placement too.
Or is it?
No, says Swiss jeweler and watchmaker Raymond Weil. Weil paid Theron a cool $3 mill to model his luxury watches and baubles. He also bought the right to her name and image. Just one niggly detail in this 18-month sweetheart deal. An exclusivity requirement, as in "Don't wear my competitor's rocks while you're under contract or you'll live to regret it."
Print ads and candids from the red carpet later showed Theron dripping in rival gems.
Weil must have felt awfully foolish. He sued Theron in U.S. District Court for breach of contract, claiming she donned a Christian Dior watch, Montblanc jewelry and Cartier jewels while under contract. He also alleged that Chopard paid her six figures to model their high-end baubles during the exclusivity period.
Theron must be one foxy conniving diva to attempt a fast one like that. Can't blame her for liking fashion, but also can't understand why she would defy a paltry detail about exclusivity. Certainly, she understood the fine print when she signed on to become a walking billboard.
Maybe she thought the terms of her deal didn't apply to Academy Award winners.
Sorry to break the news to Theron, but cushy seven figure jobs do come with a price. This one's was to play the part of a sell-out. And even that was too much for m'lady.