The university sued GM in U.S. District Court in California on May 19 for more than $75,000. Einstein willed his publicity rights to the university before he died in 1955.
This is just another marketing issue for GM following the recent commercials which featured Chairman and Chief Executive Ed Whitacre discussing the fact that GM had repaid its federal loans. He was accused of stretching the truth. GM has also switched ad agencies for the Chevy brand twice in the recent months.
According to GM's spokeswoman, Ryndee Carney, GM purchased the right to use Einstein's image from a "reputable firm." GM's ad agency Leo Burnett created the ad which ran in People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue last September.