Jersey Shore is a fairly superficial American reality television show, broadcasted by MTV. The series follows the lives of eight young housemates spending their summer at the Jersey Shore, living by the creed “GTL”: gym, tanning, laundry.
One of the cast members, Jenni “JWOWW” Farley is now being sued by Phigogam, a business partnership of three friends from the University of Oklahoma. Allegedly Farley is infringing the copyright on a suntan lotion bottle design.
The three friends, Eric Bramlett, Wesley Cox and Paul Rudnicki, started a website in 2007 named Tantans.com. The website sells their own brand of tanning lotions. Just to make the lotions more appealing, they decided to tie-in a celebrity.
Since Jersey Shore is all about tan, Phigogam reached out to JWOWW, the perfect person (and body) for the “look and image” for their tanning lotion promotion line.
After contacting Farley through her agent and making up a bottle design, they noticed that Farley took the idea to Australian Gold, a big competitor.
Being the big soap that Jersey Shore is, Farley broke with her manager – Farley had a relationship with “Pauly D” during the filming – , who is now suing Jenni for his assistance in the Australian Gold deal.
On the other hand, the Oklahoma three are suing Farley as well. The bottle design has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, and they claim that they are exclusive owner of reproduction and distribution rights, stating that JWOWW Black Bronzer set a record as the fastest tanning lotion to sell 115,000 bottles in five months.
It will remain to be seen if the sun will keep on shining for Jenni “JWOWW” Farley. With fame comes litigation, as it seems.
On a side note, the Jersey Shore series is facing more brand related news, as clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch made an unprecendeted move.
They have offered to pay the cast members of Jersey Shore to stop wearing its clothes on air.
A&F states: “We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans. We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response.”