The Model Who Won $15.6M For A Coffee Jar Photo

Grace Higgins | August 5th, 2020

A model who took a photo for Nestle when he was 39, but then never heard back from them, has been awarded over $15.6 million after he found out they had been using his images for years on the Taster’s Choice Coffee labels. Russell Christoff is now 55 and retired, but used to model around the Northern California area.

wp.com

In 1986 he did a two-hour photoshoot for Nestle but thought that nothing had come of it. Until he found his photo on an instant coffee brand by Nestle while in a small drug store in 2002. He was so shocked that he picked up the jar in surprise and walked over to the shop clerk saying “Look this has my face on it!” and the shop clerk confirmed that indeed the photo did look like Mr. Christoff.

In the end, he had to enter a legal dispute with Nestle USA to get to the bottom of this. The company tried to offer him a mere $100,000 after profiting off his face in multiple regions of the world for over 20 years. But he turned this down and asked for $8.5 million as a settlement. Christoff argued Nestle had profited off his face for two decades and that he never gave his consent for using the photo. This meant that Nestle was in the wrong and was using his image without permission.

The case ended up in front of a court with Nestle USA being ordered to pay Christoff $15.6 million which the jury decided on due to it being 5% of the Glendale-based company’s profits from 1997 to 2003. The freeze-dried coffee was sold in the United States, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, Israel, and Kuwait. The Mexican version featured a photoshopped photo where My Christoff had longer sideburns and a darker skin complexion just to appear more South American.

When asked why he took so long to figure out his image was being used without consent, Christoff simply replied that he never buys instant coffee. He is a coffee lover and therefore sticks to grinding down his beans and using an expresso machine. Christoff though he did appear in some corporate training videos and hosted a television show, is now a kindergarten teacher in the Bay Area of Antioch. Thought it now looks like he will be ready to retire with this payout!

Next Article
  • Sally Ride First American Women In Space

    On June 18, 1983, NASA Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman to enter space. She launched with her four crewmates on the Shuttle Challenger, on mission STS-7. The ride had been selected with five other women to be part of NASA’s space program back in 1978. With the advances of the space shuttles...

    Read More
  • Reindeer In A WW2 Submarine

    One of the more unusual moments of World War II was when a British submarine transported around a reindeer it had been given by the Russians as a gift. In 1941, the crew of the HMS Trident was given a reindeer by the USSR navy. The reindeer then spent the next 6 weeks living with...

    Read More
  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand Killed Over 300,000 Animals While Hunting

    Over one hundred years ago, the heir to the Astro Hungarian throne was a crazy guy called Franz. Well Archduke Franz Ferdinand to be exact, his assassination led to the turn of events that caused the start of World War I. Pulling in the Russian Empire, Germany, France, Italy, China, and the U.S. into one...

    Read More
  • The Legend Of Snake Rock In Naka Cave

    Naka Cave is found in Phu Langka National Park in Thailand, and in Thai it means snake. There is a real reason for this, the cave looks like a giant snake. The texture of the stones appears to resemble the scaled skin of a snake. Over the years there have been hundreds of articles publishing...

    Read More
  • Wife Carrying Is An Extreme Sport In Finland

    Over fifty men happily sling their wives or partners over their shoulders and run off into the race. An hour-long gruel through the Finnish town of Sonkajarvi and thousands of fans will be cheering them on. This is the extreme sport of wife-carrying in Finland. The World Wife Carrying Championships is now well into its...

    Read More
  • Aeschylus The Ancient Writer Killed By A Falling Tortoise

    Aeschylus is often regarded as the creator of the tragic genre. He is one of the early Greek writers whose plays have survived into the modern era, the other two being Sophocles and Euripides. Arguably, he is also the founder of serious Greek drama. Mostly we find that he added many more characters into his...

    Read More
  • For Europeans Hershey’s Chocolate Tastes Like Vomit

    If you ask any American they may tell you that Hershey’s is the chocolate to buy. But, if you ever offer one to a European then you may find they grimace at the thought. That is because, for anyone used to eating European chocolates, Hershey’s will taste like vomit. It is kind of like a...

    Read More