The unsympathetic star panellist of Germany’s No.1 talent show, Dieter Bohlen, and Prince Ernst August of Hanover are taking action in the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) against the Federal Republic of Germany in defence of their personality rights.
The celebrity plaintiffs’ claims are in response to television advertisements that satirised controversial events in their lives. It was insinuated in a cigarette advertisement that the Prince of Hanover had beaten up a box of cigarettes, alluding to reports that the Prince was involved in a scuffle with a nightclub owner in Kenya.
Former ‘80s pop star and judge of the talent shows “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” and “Das Supertalent”, Dieter Bohlen, was equally unhappy with an advertisement that poked fun at his writing skills. Mr. Bohlen was previously pressured into re-releasing his autobiography, much of which had to be redacted, after being threatened with legal action from celebrities who were unhappy with how they were portrayed.
Both cases were defeated in Germany’s highest civil law court where it was held that advertisers had the right to satirise current events if they did not go so far as to exploit the image of the subject of the advertisement. It must also be clear that the subject of the satire is not endorsing the product advertised.
Both offended parties are now bringing a case before the ECtHR.
Contributed by Brian McElligott.