I have always wondered how much fees celebrities get for endorsing a product. Now I know. This article put paid to my curiosity.
The Star, Sat 18 March 2006
KUALA LUMPUR: Actress Wardina Safiyyah Fadlullah has sued the owner of the Mydin wholesale supermarket chain for using her image in its advertisement without her approval.
Wardina, 27, who is also a popular TV host and model, filed the suit at the Civil Division High Court registry in Jalan Ampang here yesterday through her lawyer Adnan Seman @ Abdullah.
She was accompanied by her husband, architect Ikhwan Johari.
In her statement of claim, Wardina said she had signed an agreement with Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd on July 15, 2002, to allow her image to be used in one of the company’s advertising billboards.
According to the agreement, the company was to pay her RM10,000 for the first year and RM1,000 for each subsequent year or each subsequent billboard displaying her picture.
Wardina, who is expecting her second child next month, claimed that the company had infringed on her intellectual property by using her image without her approval after the contract expired in July 2003.
She claimed that the company had only compensated her with a further RM10,000 for the alleged infringement.
Apart from the giant billboards, she said, the company had also used her image on giant posters, paper bags, banners and on their lorries.
She is seeking RM300,000 in general damages, an injunction, interest and costs.
RM10,000 is probably the lower end of the spectrum. Celebrities with bigger star appeal like Siti Nurhaliza are bound to command much, much more.
Celebrities aren’t the only folks sought out by advertisers. Famous sports personalities lend their names to brands too. Shuttlers, Wong Choon Hann was the spokesperson for a computer and Lee Wan Wah for a toiletry product.
How about authors? Why aren’t they sought out for product endorsements? For one, they must be household names like Mawi and Who Wants to be a Millionnaire host, Jalaluddin Hassan. Otherwise the instant noodles, rice and massage chairs will not sell as well if they’re endorsed by nobodies. If the advertisers wanted no-name people, they would’ve gotten models from the talent agencies and save a load on endorsement fees.
Preferably, the endorser must have knock-out looks like Siti Nurhaliza or Vince of Akademi Fantasia fame. However, this is not a compulsory trait. Look at Apek of Scenario. I just saw him on a tv ad for a phone. His star quality is so big that it overshadows his looks.
Wait a sec, I just remember there’s a Malaysian author who does product endorsement. She’s none other than Lilian Too, the prolific feng shui author. But then she’s an industry on her own.
Meanwhile I’ll dream of the day when I become a famous author and don’t need to earn money through tapping out meaningful prose on the computer. I’ll just let my endorsement fees bring in the dough. What could I endorse?
There are the writing related tools :
1. Notebook / computer – so sophisticated it makes writing a breeze.
2. Writing software – so easy it takes the chore out of writing a book.
Thinking out of the box :
3. Microwave oven – does all the cooking for me while I write my book.
4. Writing table – such beautiful furniture inspires me to write more.
5. Country home – serene locale to inspire more greatness in my book.
6. Rice – healthy rice to feed my family with so they’ll be happy and healthy enough to
leave me alone to write my book.
And how can I forget this :
7. Slimming program – helps me lose weight so I’m fitter and have more energy to write more books.