The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts has filed a lawsuit against Airbnb Inc. alleging the home-sharing company used Child’s name and likeness without permission in an advertised promotion. Julia Child Found. For Gastronomy & Culinary Arts v. Airbnb Inc., No. 16-2626 (Cal. Super. Ct., Santa Barbara Cnty., filed June 22, 2016).
According to the complaint, Airbnb contacted the foundation in April 2016 requesting permission to use the famed American chef and author’s name and likeness in an ad promoting a free night’s stay at a French property Child and her husband had used as a summer home. “Consistent with Mrs. Child’s longstanding and widely-known policy of politely refusing all requests to associate her name or image with commercial products and brands,” the foundation denied the request, then discovered that Airbnb used her image in its marketing campaign anyway. The foundation seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction, damages and attorney’s fees for the alleged misappropriation.