Pele Sues Samsung for Using Lookalike in New York Times Advertisement

Matt Jones@@MattJFootballFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2016

Brazilian soccer great Pele waves to fans at his book signing and autograph session as he presents a book about his life, titled in Portuguese
Andre Penner/Associated Press

Brazilian football icon Pele is to sue electronics company Samsung for $30 million after it used a lookalike of him in an advertisement in the New York Times.

BBC Business reported legal papers lodged at the U.S. District Court in Chicago outline the action to be taken. The advert was for ultra high-definition televisions, and it’s suggested the South Korean firm used the lookalike without the permission of the 75-year-old.

Pele is to take legal action against the electronics company.
Pele is to take legal action against the electronics company.Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press

It’s reported by the same source that talks broke down between Samsung and Pele’s representatives in 2013, as the electronics giant was hoping to use the former Brazil star to help promote the brand.

The complaint filed stated the segment in the paper includes a man who “very closely resembles” Pele. It’s also noted the action being performed in the advert—a scissor kick—is synonymous with the former footballer, “perfected and famously used by Pele.”

BBC said Pele will be represented by Frederick Sperling, who has been the lawyer for basketball legend Michael Jordan in the past in a similar case. The former Chicago Bulls man successfully sued Dominick's Finer Foods after it used his identity in a segment inSports Illustrated without appropriate authorisation.

Uncredited/Associated Press

The Brazilian is rated as the finest footballer in history by many, having won the World Cup three times with the Selecao. He is the nation’s all-time record goalscorer with 77 goals and also won the Copa Libertadores twice with Santos.