Supermodel Bar Refaeli on Wednesday won a NIS 400,000 judgment against the local
importer of Samsung products for live online broadcasts of her that were aired
without her knowledge and outside the scope of a business
Refaeli had originally sought NIS 4.4 million in damages from
Suny Electronics Ltd. for breach of contract and violation of privacy. The 2006
ad campaign was for the Korean manufacturing giant.
Tel Aviv District
Court Judge Avi Zamir dismissed some of Refaeli’s more serious allegations,
including that Suny had aired the broadcasts in bad faith. He also dismissed all
personal claims against marketing consultant Avi Zeitan, but ordered Suny to pay
Refaeli NIS 150,000 in lawyers’ fees and court costs.
Next, he dismissed
Suny’s NIS 2.015m. counterclaim of defamation against Refaeli for her having
communicated directly with Samsung and alleging the importer’s
The court found that Suny did not breach the scope of what it
could air of Refaeli in bad faith, noting that at the last minute the firm made
a handwritten addition to the contract expanding what it could broadcast. It
sent this addition to Refaeli’s representative.
Because Suny did not draw
the representative’s attention to the change, it did not become part of the
parties’ discussions and understandings.
Suny was found to have violated
the agreement and Refaeli’s privacy, even if somewhat
“The image of models, their voices, bodies and names are
their personal assets, and no one has the right to use them for commercial
purposes without their consent or without compensation,” Zamir
“These assets have the right to protection,” the judge
“Every male or female model, even if they choose to expose
themselves in an advertisement, even in the broadest and most revealing manner
in any media, has the right not to have use made of these private assets beyond
what was agreed and without their explicit consent.”