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Brewery Proibida is held liable for ambush marketing in an ad starring Neymar

A decision rendered by the 17th Civil Chamber of the Appellate Court of the State of Rio de Janeiro ordered Brewery Proibida to pay damages resulting from the use of a t-shirt similar to the official uniform of the Brazilian soccer team in one of its advertisings1.

According to the plaintiffs, Ambev and the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), the defendant’s ad constituted ambush marketing due to the exclusive sponsorship agreement executed between Ambev and CBF.

In April 2018, a preliminary injunction was granted in order to prohibit the use of the Brazilian soccer team’s official uniforms, or any copies thereof, by the soccer player Neymar in advertisings of Brewery Proibida. The lower court’s final decision on the merits affirmed the preliminary injunction, but did not award damages to the plaintiffs because the uniform would not be the center of the ad.

Upon examining the plaintiff’s appeal, the 17th Civil Chamber reversed in part the lower court’s decision to order the payment of damages. According to the Court, such damages would automatically result from the images submitted in the complaint, which evidenced the use of an uniform similar to the one of the Brazilian soccer team in the defendant’s ad.

1Lawsuit No. 0014369-64.2018.8.19.0001