• Sweden edition

Model sues Volvo for millions over 'escort' ad

Published: 16 Aug 2012 07:26 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Aug 2012 07:26 GMT+02:00

An American model is suing Swedish carmaker Volvo, her modelling agency and Hertz rental cars for $23 million over claims that she was made to look like an escort in a recent ad campaign.

Carolyn Giles, a student at New York’s Columbia University, is livid after finding her face on an Australian dating website sponsored by the Swedish carmaker under the headline, 'Spend a night with Swedish model of your choice!'

Giles, who is represented by world renowned modeling agency Ford, appeared in an ad for Volvo in 2007, on a contract that let the carmaker use her images for that campaign.

However, she later found out that her face had been used on subsequent campaigns worldwide, as well as on an Australian dating service called Fast Impressions, sponsored by Volvo.

According to Giles, she has neither been paid nor consulted as to where her photos have been used.

“I was paid $2,000 unlimited usage for Volvo for their S40 model,” Giles told American broadcaster ABC News.

On the dating site Giles’s face was plastered next to a 'Swedish model' headline, urging customers to 'rev up’ their love life and 'book a test drive now, and who knows, this could be the start of a beautiful relationship (not just with Volvo)', according to the reports.

This was particularly vexing for Giles, who feels taken advantage of and made into looking like “an escort girl”.

Giles’s lawyer, David Jaroslawicz, told British Daily Mail that the picture, in that particular setting, looked just like an old yellow pages ad for an escort service.

“To use it in what's literally a sleazy and inappropriate way is just wrong,'” he told the paper.

According to ABC News, Volvo has responded that Giles signed a release granting Volvo the rights for “unlimited print and Internet placements worldwide for an unlimited time.”

However, Giles disagrees with the Swedish car company.

“The product is Volvo S40. I didn’t say that Volvo could use my image for anything Volvo for the rest of my life, “ she told ABC News.

According to media reports citing the lawsuit, Giles is also suing the Hertz rental car company for using her picture in their brochures without paying her, as well as her model agency for not looking better after her interests.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:51 August 16, 2012 by fakeempire
Awww, poor her.
09:15 August 16, 2012 by Localer
I smell Moneeeeeeey
09:55 August 16, 2012 by Snoopy!
rightttttt apparently its about the principle ! yerrrrr right

13:16 August 16, 2012 by philster61
Gold digger
23:57 August 16, 2012 by HenryPollard
"I am a women who sells her body for cash! not a dirty disgusting escort"........
14:11 August 17, 2012 by zhanna2
She seems like she is going on a suing spree..I guess her modeling career didn't workout so well, so she is now suing her way for some money.
15:30 August 17, 2012 by Britt-Marie7
Good for her! Nobody should be allowed to use her photo without her permission, regardless of if she gets paid or not.
15:31 August 21, 2012 by VicTaulic
She was taken advantage of. You go girl!
21:19 August 21, 2012 by james_g
$23 million seems perhaps a little excessive, but in principle she's perfectly justified. $2,000 for 'unlimited print and Internet placements worldwide for an unlimited time' - if true - would be a total rip off on Volvo's part!
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