12 January 2016Trademarks

M.I.A v PSG: football club kicks off over ‘image prejudice’

French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has claimed that singer M.I.A’s music video about the treatment of refugees unfairly uses its goodwill to boost the popularity of the song and has requested the video be removed.

In the video for “Borders”, released last year, M.I.A is seen wearing an amended version of the club’s shirt. Instead of showing the official sponsor “Fly Emirates” on the shirt it instead reads “Fly Pirates”.

But the Paris-based club took exception to what it described as “image prejudice”.

In a cease-and-desist letter sent to the UK-based artist’s record label Universal Music the club said: “We consider that the use of our brand and image in a video clip denouncing the treatment of refugees is a source of discredit for our club and distorts the public communication policy.”

The letter, dated December 21, added: “The use of our jersey largely contributed to attract the public and press’s attention on M.I.A’s video clip. Thus, you unduly took advantage of our popularity and reputation to enhance the attractiveness of your artist and, consequently, the profits of your company.”

M.I.A posted an image of the letter on her official Twitter account yesterday, January 11.

In response, the musician has held firm on her position.

“'Borders’ came out the day of the Paris Memorial Day ceremony for victims of the Paris attack. Having an Eiffel Tower on my tee was support I thought,” she tweeted.

The club’s emblem features the Eiffel Tower at the centre.

She also retweeted an image of herself wearing the t-shirt from the video with the caption: “MIA vs PSG”.

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