The ad campaign in question included roughly 30 images and videos posted across Forever 21's web site and social media accounts repurposing music video stills and other imagery from Grande's "Thank U, Next" and "7 Rings" music videos, tagging Grande in the posts' captions. Grande is seeking at least $10 million in damages.
Ariana Grande accepts the award for artist of the year at the 2016 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 20, 2016.
But Forever 21 created a "misleading campaign" anyways, the lawsuit alleges.
Pop star Ariana Grande asserts in a new United States $10 million (NZ$ 15.799m) lawsuit against Forever 21 and beauty retailer Riley Rose that the companies used her name, likeness and "other intellectual property" without her permission to promote their products, according to paperwork obtained by the Daily News. They claim the company enlisted a Grande lookalike model to wear hairstyles and costumes strongly associated with Grande, as well as re-creations of those primarily featured in her "7 Rings" video.
The complaint cites 13 instances wherein Forever 21 "falsely suggested" Grande's endorsement of its products through the use of the model.
In the document, Grande's attorney, Daniel Petrocelli writes, "Forever 21 contacted Ms. Grande's representatives to discuss the possibility of having her endorse the fast fashion Forever 21 brand given that Ms. Grande's fans are squarely within Forever 21's target market". The number seven logo shown in the pop star's music video also appeared in some campaign images posted on Forever 21's Instagram feed. "Even a single social media post by Ms. Grande can garner fees of several hundred thousand dollars, and her longer-term endorsement arrangements command fees in the millions of dollars", the suit reads.
"The resemblance is uncanny", the complaint said.
Forever 21 did not immediately respond on Tuesday to an emailed request for comment.