Jennifer Love Hewitt doesn’t love The Marz Group or its vitamin sprays. In fact, last week, the actress sued the company for using her image in ads without authorization.
The Marz Group spent a few minutes in the spotlight on ABC’s Shark Tank, a reality show in which entrepreneurs try to convince investors to take an equity stake in their businesses. The company pitched a series of vitamin sprays that purportedly serve as weight-loss supplements, energy boosters, and sleep aids, among other things. The investors weren’t convinced, however, with one calling the products a “scam,” and another stating that the concept was “hard to swallow.”
Undeterred, the company has been selling their products online, often using images of celebrities in a manner that suggests the celebrities endorse the products. At least one of the celebrities, however, isn’t happy. In her suit, Hewitt argues that the company is using her name, photograph, and likeness without her consent, and that they have ignored her requests to stop. Hewitt is asking for an injunction and unspecified damages.
As we’ve noted several times this year, some companies pay a lot of money for the right to associate themselves with the celebrities. If you don’t pay a celebrity in the form of an endorsement fee, you may end up paying them more in the form of legal damages.