Hebrew U Sues GM over Topless Einstein Ad

Published: May 27th 2010
in News » World

GM Albert Einstein ad
Pic: GM

Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, owners of Einstein’s publicity rights, has filed a lawsuit against General Motors for releasing a print ad featuring Albert Einstein’s face on a buff and shirtless male torso. The poster reads “Ideas are sexy too” across the top.


Hebrew U owns the late Nobel Prize-winning physicist’s publicity rights, as denoted in his will before his death in 1955. The university argues that GM was not cleared legally before printing the ad featuring Einstein’s likeness, which also includes a tattoo on his shoulder.


People Magazine featured the four-page ad last fall, which had been created for the magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue.


"The tattooed, shirtless image of Dr. Einstein with his underpants on display is not consummate with and causes injury to [the university's] carefully guarded rights in the image and likeness of the famous scientist, political activist, and humanitarian," Motor Trend website quoted Hebrew University lawyer Antoinette Waller regarding the lawsuit.


In 2008, Forbes magazine rated Albert Einstein as the fourth most lucrative famous dead person, posthumously profiting close to $18 million a year.


GM asserts, however, that the company did, indeed, legally buy the right to use Einstein's likeness, Motor Trend reported. The name of the firm from which these rights were acquired is unconfirmed.

Related articles: (GM, Albert Einstein, Hebrew University, Sexiest Man Alive, tatoo, Nobel Prize)
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