Sandra Bullock and Ellen DeGeneres are working together on a legal case, joining forces to file a lawsuit against 100 anonymous individuals and entities over fake endorsements, The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, Esq. reports.
“According to a complaint submitted Wednesday to Los Angeles Superior Court, the two stars are ‘joining forces in this action to expose the Celebrity Endorsement Theft Industry,'” THR reports. “More specifically, the two are going after fakers in the affiliate marketing industry who earn commissions by directing traffic to e-commerce sites.”
The report adds: “The affiliate marketing business is huge. The lawsuit estimates it is a multi-billion industry with major names like Amazon and Hulu depending on affiliates for sales. One study estimates that 16 percent of online orders originate from affiliate marketing.”
According to Bullock and DeGeneres, much but not all of the business is legitimate. They point to “certain affiliate marketers attempting to sell products ranging from face cream to anti-aging serum to a dietary supplement to miraculous weight loss potions,” THR reports. “Here, Bullock and DeGeneres say their names, images, likenesses and personas are being used without authorization.”
Bullock and DeGeneres are reportedly asserting violations of their rights of publicity plus false advertising and unfair competition.
“The lawsuit demands an injunction and compensatory damages,” THR reports. “First, though, the suit seems designed to kick off an investigation into responsibility for the marketing.”