The flamboyant owner of a Ferrari 812 Superfast has been hit with a lawsuit from the Italian car manufacturer due to images he posts of his car on Instagram.
The man in question, Philipp Plein, has no less than 1.8 million Instagram followers and posts the usual array of images showing off his wealth. That means exotic cars, bikini-clad models, and private jets. Ferrari doesn’t want to be associated with posts like this it seems.
In a letter from Ferrari lawyers sent to Plein, the German fashion designer is told to remove a specific photo of his Ferrari 812 Superfast he posted with a pair of his custom shoes resting on the rear window.
The letter reads that “in these pictures, Ferrari’s trademarks are used again for promotional purposes of your brand and products, unlawfully appropriating the goodwill attached to them. Your behaviour, however, is even more harmful and serious in this case.” The letter goes on to add that Plein has displayed his Ferraris “with a lifestyle totally inconsistent with Ferrari’s brand perception, in connection with performers making sexual innuendos and using Ferrari’s cars as props in a manner which is per se distasteful.”
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Ferrari claims that “this behaviour” tarnishes the reputation of its brand. Unsurprisingly, Plein has not removed the social media posts, Jalopnik reports.
The Italian car manufacturer is not too fond of its vehicles being displayed in ways it doesn’t like. One particularly famous case from August 2014 involved successful DJ DeadMau5 being sent a cease and desist letter from Ferrari because his 458 Spider had a distinctive wrap inspired by Nyan Cat.
While Ferrari’s actions against Plein may be rubbing a few people the wrong way in this case, there is certainly some legal basis for the company’s concerns as the designer appears to be advertising his own brand of shoes without paying Ferrari a license to use their trademark.