Soccer Legend Pelé sues Samsung over the use of a lookalike in newspaper ad


Soccer Legend Pelé has sued Samsung for $30 million in damages over the use of a lookalike in their newspaper advert. In the said advert, the half cropped face of a man who very much looks like the Brazilian born soccer legend is placed alongside a Samsung SUHD TV; the TV shows an image of a footballer performing the a modified bicycle kick or scissors-kick, perfected and famously used by Pelé” in the advertisement. These major features of the advert are what Pelé’s image rights company, Pelé IP Ownership LLC, points to as evidence backing their allegation that Samsung used an image of the Brazilian legend without his consent. Added to that is the fact that Pelé had been in talks with Samsung over using his image for an advert similar to the one his look like was used in. Obviously, the deal did not go through and Samsung settle for a look alike, perhaps, hoping to draw the same sentiments from consumers as would a real Pelé image would.


According to our news source, the representative of the Plaintiff, stated that the soccer legend relies on endorsements for much of his income, and the ad will hurt the value of his endorsement rights and confuse consumers into believing he endorses Samsung products.  “The goal is to obtain fair compensation for the unauthorized use of Pele’s identity, and to prevent future unauthorized uses,” Pelé’s lawyer, Frederick Sperling, said in a phone interview.

Samsung is to issue a statement over this matter, but we do expect to hear from them anytime soon. Moreover, this not new for Samsung as they have being in and out of out for a while now, due to their case against Apple over patent trespass.

It will be interesting to see how this goes, the soccer legend may have a case or not; that’s left for the jury to decide do. What do you think? share in the comment box

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Ifeanyi Joseph

Writer, tech enthusiast, and sport aficionado. You can find him on Facebook @

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