A federal judge in California has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the use of Albert Einstein’s image in a magazine ad by General Motors.
The 2009 ad for GM’s Terrain vehicle had Einstein’s face on top of a fit, muscular man with the line, “Ideas are sexy too.” The ad ran in People Magazine.
Judge Howard Matz this week noted that Einstein died nearly 60 years ago. He says Einstein’s “persona should be freely available … even in tasteless ads.” The judge says it’s unlikely that any reader would believe that the late scientist was endorsing the vehicle.
The Detroit News reported the lawsuit against GM was filed by Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The school says it owns Einstein’s publicity rights as a beneficiary under Einstein’s will.