Pippa Middleton has steered clear of any endorsement offers since she became a household name after her sister Kate Middleton’s wedding to Prince William almost a year ago. But the image of the prince’s sister-in-law may have been used without her permission to promote a product nonetheless.
You might do a double-take when you see the new movie/product tie-in campaign “The Amazing Spider-Man Meets the New SONY NEX Series Camera,” which features a Pippa-esque brunette happily taking a photo of the comic book hero.
But is the resemblance deliberate or just coincidence?
“There is no question that the new Sony ad is using a Pippa Middleton lookalike. In today’s crowded advertising environment, the more attention the better, and utilizing a celebrity look-alike means added exposure and eyeballs,” Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR and author of PR Book “For Immediate Release.”
“Creating an ad with a Pippa lookalike means a ton of free media – via news stories, digital media and increased consumer buzz,” Torossian added. “Sony makes thousands of ads a year – and without spending millions on this campaign, they will undoubtedly get millions in un-paid attention.”
But while it may garner significant attention, not every celebrity thinks imitation is a form of flattery.
Last year, for example, Kim Kardashian filed $20 million lawsuit against clothing company Old Navy for using look-a-like model Melissa Molinaro in a “Super C-U-T-E” campaign, alleging that they used her persona without authorization.
“I think SONY represented someone who is the epitome of likable and bankable, the woman in the ad resembles Pippa Middleton,” added publicity and image expert, Glenn Selig of The Publicity Agency. “The Kim Kardashian ad was overt. This one appears to be intentionally subtle which may ignite even more debate and at the same time leave little room for litigation from Pippa Middleton.”
Sony USA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.