All-time football great Pelé is suing South Korean phone maker Samsung for $30 million. According to the Brazilian soccer icon, Samsung ceased negotiations with him, and proceeded to use a look-alike without his permission in a certain ad that appeared in The New York Times. The ad had run in October of last year, and was placed by Samsung in order to promote its super high-definition TVs. Samsung has not released an official statement yet regarding the matter.
Pelé has filed the suit against Samsung this month in a Chicago federal court. He further claimed that the South Korean tech giant was previously in the process of negotiating with him regarding the possibility of endorsing its products. In the The New York Times ad, Pelé is not actually mentioned, but does show an image of a man’s face that bears a striking resemblance to the football legend. Moreover, the ad also comes with an image of Samsung’s UHD TV depicting a football player doing a bicycle kick, a move famously made iconic by Pelé.
During an interview with Fortune, Frederick Sperling (who serves as Pelé’s lawyer) has stated that the objective of the suit is to obtain fair compensation for the unauthorized use of the soccer icon’s likeness, and to make sure that instances like this will not happen again.