Lewd online comments about swimsuit model to cost company

Ad featuring Elizabeth Faran appears with explicit comments; Triplay Digital Content ordered to pay NIS 50,000 compensation.

May 31, 2011 04:16
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The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court ordered online media company Triplay Digital Content to pay model Elizabeth Faran NIS 50,000 compensation and NIS 7,500 legal costs for displaying lewd comments about her alongside a video featuring her in a bikini, shot for a cellular media campaign.

The court said Faran had agreed to be filmed for a cellular- based reality show, where four models compete for viewers’ votes and the winner goes on a date with a viewer selected by lottery. Faran was filmed in a pool, wearing a skimpy bikini and answering questions about her ideal date.

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However, six months after the shoot, Faran saw the campaign online and found that the production company had added lewd captions to the video, hinting at the participants’ supposed lustful nature, emphasizing the models’ cleavage in a banner and advertising the campaign prize as a “Hot Date” and not a “Perfect Date” as Faran said she was told it would be called.

Faran decided to sue the company, arguing it had mischaracterized the job and humiliated her by presenting her as a sex object. Faran, who was married at the time, said she was concerned about what her family and friends would say in light of the provocative nature of the campaign. She sued Triplay for slander and sexual harassment.

The judge ruled that while the videos themselves did not warrant action on the part of the court, since Faran had voluntarily posed for them, answered the interview questions and followed the director’s instructions, the captions and titles that were displayed alongside the video did indeed justify Faran’s claims.

“The vulgar, sexist innuendo turn the models into an object offered to the viewers for a ‘Hot Date’ and constitute slander, invasion of privacy and sexual harassment. It is impossible to accept any arguments about general or specific consent about the nature of the content,” the judge ruled.

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