Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Oops: Russel Christoff VS Taster's Choice...



While shopping at a drug store in 2002 former model Russell Christoff noticed something he didn't expect. On the front of a Taster's Choice coffee label was his face, only 16 years younger.

This story begins back in 1986 when Christoff spent two hours posing for pictures for Taster's Choice. He received $250 dollars for the job with the condition that he would receive an additional $2000 if his photos were selected to promote the product in Canada. 

The image of Christoff went on to be used without his knowing or being paid, from 1997 to 2003 on eight different Taster's Choice labels in 18 countries. 

Nestle USA offered Christoff  $100,000 after he sued the company, which he refused and Nestle declined to pay him the $8.5 million he asked for. The court battle continued and ended with Christoff being awarded $15 million dollars in compensatory damages.

The moral of this story is to make sure everyone has been paid for their services. Either that or think twice when trying to rip someone off to save a few bucks because the little bit of money you think you're saving now is nothing compared to what it will cost you later when you get caught.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The label in your photo is Keith Prentice, not Russell Christoff. Keith was the Taster's Choice model before Russell (http://j-walkblog.com/index.php?/weblog/posts/man_sees_his_face_in_coffee_jar/). But they do resemble each other, don't they?

Anonymous said...

The model in the photo on the above label is neither Keith or Russell it is John Young. BTW John also designed the original label!

Anonymous said...

Agreed, it's John Young of Lippincott & Margulies. He later formed Lee & Young Communications. But Young was an account man at Lippincott, the label was designed by Richard Kontir (I think), also at Lippincott & Margulies. Kontir later joined John and Robert Lee at Lee & Young. The story I heard was that John posed for the comp, then after they shot a series of actual models, Nestle didn't like any of them as well as they liked John, so John went on the final label. Christoff followed Young.