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Gael Garcia Bernal wins a lawsuit against a well-known whiskey brand for using his image for an advertisement without consent. File image.
Gael García Bernal recently won a lawsuit against a well-known whiskey brand for using his image in an advertisement without his consent. Photo: Eyepix/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Gael García to be compensated for a Johnnie Walker campaign 

In 2011, a Johnnie Walker campaign used the image of Mexican actor Gael García without his consent. Ten years later, Garcia is getting compensated for it.

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The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) determined that Mexican actor Gael García Bernal should be compensated for having his image and that of his family used in a campaign called "Walking with Giants" without his consent. Ten years ago, the company Diageo Mexico used the actor's image without prior consent when creating a campaign for the whiskey brand Johnnie Walker.

In 2013, García Bernal filed the lawsuit for having appeared in 22 television commercials between September and October 2011 without his authorization or having received any payment in exchange for the use of his image.

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Although it has been explained that a tax court will be the one to make the final decision on the compensation, the first chamber of the high court considered in 2019 to set an indemnity for damages of at least 40% of the price of the sale of Johnnie Walker during the period in which they used his image for the campaign.

García Bernal has demanded from the whisky's manufacturer, Diageo Mexico, that the compensation be in accordance with the Federal Copyright Law, and although the company appealed the initial sentence, the battle concluded on Wednesday, Nov. 17, with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the actor.

They say its justice takes time, but it comes, and for Gael García it came 10 years later. However, this battle sets an important precedent for companies to do everything with the respect that artists and any person deserves regarding their personal image. 

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