We all know a person that can be unpredictable and erratic. It can be fun to hang out with that person occasionally, because you’ll likely have funny stories to share with your friends the next morning, but you probably wouldn’t want to be married to them, because those same stories are less funny when you share them with your divorce lawyer. The same is probably true with relationships between brands and some celebrities.
In 2013, Adidas entered into a relationship with Kanye West to create Yeezy-branded shoe and clothing collections. Although it was a lucrative relationship, Kanye has said and done some things in the years since then that must have had the brand cringing. After Kanye made a series of anti-Semitic tweets and comments, Adidas decided it had had enough and called its divorce lawyers. The relationship officially ended this week.
Although we don’t know the details about how the relationship ended, it’s possible that Adidas had to rely on a morals clause in its agreement with Kanye. Morals clauses generally give companies the right to terminate an agreement, if a celebrity commits an act that falls within the scope of the clause. Given what’s at stake, the scope of that clause can be one of the most-negotiated provisions in these agreements.
Celebrities naturally want the clauses to be as narrow and specific as possible. (For example, a clause might only kick in if a celebrity is convicted of, or pleads guilty to, a felony.) This type of clause, though, won’t necessarily help if a celebrity just makes offensive statements. Thus, companies want more flexibility. (For example, they may push for a clause that allows termination if the endorser’s actions would reflect negatively on the company.)
Although these type of clauses can be helpful in cases when you want to break up with a celebrity, it’s better to avoid that situation. Think carefully before you get into bed with a celebrity, so to speak. Check them out on social media; get the scoop from their previous partners; know what you’re getting into. Hopefully, when the relationship ends, you’ll look back fondly at the good times and you won’t feel the need to go back and cut that celebrity out of all the pictures you took together.