How marketers and PR pros can avoid Fiji Water’s legal trouble

The water company had a viral marketing win, but it all unraveled when it couldn’t secure an agreement with the model behind the stunt. Here’s what marketers must know.

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If you don’t have your ducks in a row, a successful PR campaign can end in a lawsuit. Just ask the brand managers behind Fiji Water’s Golden Globes promotion.

For those who did not watch the awards show, Kelly Steinbach (stage name Kelleth Cuthbert) went viral after Fiji Water hired her as a red carpet promotional model. Dressed in a sleeveless blue gown, which complemented the Fiji Water bottle design while contrasting with the red carpet, Steinbach got her 15 minutes of fame. On behalf of Fiji, the official water sponsor of the Golden Globes, Steinbach, armed with a tray of Fiji Water stood in a strategic position on the red carpet, passing out Fiji Water to celebrities.

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