Advertising Law

Actress who starred in law firm commercial spoofing faked injuries sues ad agency

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An actress who starred in a local law firm commercial spoofing plaintiffs who exaggerate their injuries has sued the producer, claiming it licensed the spot to other law firms without her knowledge.

Elena Aroaz says she was initially paid $600 by the ad agency, the Levinson Trachtenberg Group, to appear in the commercial on local cable TV, the New York Daily News reports. In the ad, Aroaz tells of her “excruciating” pain that feels like a “really sharp machete chopping down on me.” Then she reveals her injury—a paper cut—and the tagline says, “There are some cases even we can’t win.”

The ad then advises viewers to call Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman, but only if they have really been injured. Says the Daily News, “She’s suing over her tiny cut—of the profits.”

The breach-of-contract suit says Aroaz did earn an additional $1,500 from Levinson Trachtenberg when she saw her image on a billboard and confronted the agency, according to the Daily News account.

The suit says the agency sold rights to Aroaz’s image to law firms in seven states, earning $250,000 for her work. She is seeking nearly $1 million from the ad agency and the law firms that used the commercial.

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