Buff Einstein Gets GMC Sued

Hebrew University of Jerusalem Files Complaint Over Terrain Ad

By Published on .

Looks like Einstein-based humor is ... wait for it ... relative. (Bad joke, worse science.) Last fall, GM ran a four-page spread in People's "Sexiest Man" issue for the Terrain. It featured the head of Albert Einstein grafted onto the body of a shirtless hunk who was sporting a tattoo that read "e=mc2." The ad was created by Leo Burnett; I thought it was pretty clever. But the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wasn't impressed. According to the Detroit Free Press, the university, "which owns all property rights to Albert Einstein's name and likeness, is unhappy with an advertisement by the Detroit automaker touting the GMC Terrain." So it's suing.

Apparently, the university doesn't think posing Einstein as if he were a Calvin Klein model fits with the image it's trying to maintain for the scientist. Ah well. For its part, GM seems to be telling the Freep that it was a licensing company's fault. Whatever the case, between this, the Ed Whitacre ad claiming the company paid back the feds, and last week's brouhaha over moving Chevy from Publicis to Goodby, GM seems to be giving Burger King a run for its money in the "ad controversy" category.

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