The Supreme Court let TV gameshow hostess Vanna White sue Samsung Electronics America over an ad that showed a glamorously dressed robot ready to turn a letter as she does on “Wheel of Fortune.”
The court, without comment Tuesday, rejected the electronics company’s argument that it has a First Amendment right to use a parody of White in its advertisements.
Samsung had an advertising campaign in the late 1980s that showed its products still being used in the 21st century.
In one magazine ad, a robot wearing a blond wig, gown and jewels posed next to a board of large letters on what appeared to be a gameshow set like that used for “Wheel of Fortune.”
White sued Samsung and David Deutsch Associates, which prepared the ad, in 1988. Both companies are based in New York.
White claimed that Samsung and Deutsch used her likeness without her permission, violated her right to publicity under California law and created confusion over whether she was endorsing their product.