Anheuser-Busch Mustache IP Tiff Shows Social Media Risks
Art Law

Anheuser-Busch Mustache IP Tiff Shows Social Media Risks

Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch LLC faces a lawsuit over a picture of a woman wearing a false mustache and downing a beer that was featured on posters and coasters in its “Every Natty Has a Story” Natural Light campaign ( Kraft v. Anheuser-Busch, LLC , E.D.N.C., 17-22, complaint filed 2/20/17 ). The company insists it had permission to use the image, telling Bloomberg BNA that someone voluntarily submitted it via a Facebook promotion. The company is a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, which garnered $45.5 billion in revenues in 2016. The case highlights the importance of proper releases, according to social media lawyers who spoke to Bloomberg BNA. Clickthrough boilerplate can put companies on shaky ground when an online campaign crosses into the real world. This is particularly important in the age of online influencer marketing, in which particular individuals are used to drive a product’s message to a bigger audience. The lawsuit claims that “Every Natty Has a Story” promotional items infringed Kayla Kraft’s copyright interest, invaded her privacy and misappropriated her image without permission, the latter of which is known as a “right of publicity” claim. Kraft’s lawyer didn’t respond to requests for comment. According to Kraft’s complaint, […]

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