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Would Michael Jackson Have Wanted His Image Used After His Death? - From New Mexico Attorney

It has been three years since the death of Michael Jackson—The King of Pop.  Like other deceased celebrities, such as Elvis Presley, he is still a proven money maker. Jackson’s estate recently struck a deal with Pepsi to feature a silhouette of the King on a billion of their soda cans.  The cola beverages will be sold in the US and twenty other countries around the globe this summer.

This is the first posthumous marketing deal for the estate and the terms are not being disclosed.  Michael Jackson remains hugely popular around the world, spanning all age groups.  Although this was the first marketing deal for the estate, it will certainly not be the last.

Michael Jackson’s first Pepsi marketing deal in the 80s earned him a then-record sum of $5 million.  As part of that deal, he performed in several Pepsi spots in the 80s and 90s.  During the filming of one of the spots, Jackson’s hair was ignited and he suffered serious burns to his face and scalp.

The Michael Jackson deal continues a significant history at Pepsi of partnering with musicians to market their cola beverages.  In the past Pepsi has used Ray Charles, Madonna, and Britney Spears to sell their products in addition to Jackson.

What might Jackson think of this new marketing deal using his image?  Because he did not create a trust and use those documents to make allowances and restrictions upon the use of his image, we will never know.  To ensure his image and music were only used in ways that he would approve of, Jackson should have create a trust document which would set forth his wishes.  He could then clearly state his preferences for the future of his estate, his funds, his image and his music.


About Morris Hall:

At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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