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Artists sue for alleged image misuse
By Cao Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-18 06:11

SHANGHAI: Five famous performing artists are taking a pharmaceutical company and its advertizing agent to court yesterday, accusing them of cheating them into attending an advertizing event.

Cao Lei, Tong Zirong, Sun Daolin, Liang Boluo and Tang Junqiao are asking for a total of 4.5 million yuan (US$544,100) in compensation and a public apology.

"On November 15, 2003, 14 artists were invited by the Shanghai Education Television Station to a performing artist-audience interaction event sponsored by Chiatai Qingchunbao Pharmaceutical Co Ltd and organized by its advertisement agent Shanghai Jiaodian Advertisement Company," said Cao Lei, a 65-year-old voice actress and also the dubbing director for the American film "Superman."

"We each recited poems or played an instrument in the event, and were given 1,000 yuan (US$120) each as commuting fees ," said Tong Zirong, 61, famous for being the Chinese voice of Zorro played by French actor Alain Delon.

Three days later, the names and images of the 14 artists appeared in an advertisement published by the Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News.

"In the story, we were described as having tried to promote products for the sponsor in the event, which was not true," said Cao.

"Another advertisement about the same event was published two months later in Jiefang Daily."

The five artists said their claims were based on how many times their names and images had been used in the advertisements plus 50,000 yuan each for mental suffering.

Bao Peilun, a lawyer representing the first defendant, Jiaodian Advertisement, said the articles the artists mentioned were news stories and not advertisements.

Wang Rong, Chiatai Qingchunbao's lawyer, said the company was totally ignorant of the alleged advertisements.

"Chiatai never asked Jiaodian to help publish the two advertisements," said Wang.

(China Daily 05/18/2005 page3)

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