A George Clooney lookalike in an Israeli coffee ad is causing quite a stir and brewing loads of trouble between Nespresso and its competitor, Expresso Club.
Two years ago, Nespresso launched a suit against their Israeli rival, Expresso Club, over a George Clooney lookalike who appears in the latter company’s commercials. While they lost at the time, they have recently launched an appeal in the case, once again pushing for the Israeli company with its doppelganger actor to pay up, cease, and desist.
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) January 24, 2016
Hollywood actor George Clooney has been the elegant and handsome face of Nestle’s Nespresso, the capsule coffee company, since 2006, and their competition, the Israeli coffee company Expresso Club, took advantage of that fact, according to Nestle. Clooney also reportedly serves on the company’s board of directors, among his many and varied successful business interests.
Readers can view the offending commercial right here.
According to the Guardian, Nestle decided to sue Expresso Club, demanding they both pull the offending advert and pay them $50,000. However, the lawsuit, which was filed in the Tel Aviv Magistrate Court two years ago, failed. Not willing to give up, and with the real George Clooney starring in their own ads, Nestle has this week filed an appeal, stating the Israeli company’s commercial is “misleading” the public.
According to the Jewish Telegraph Agency, the Expresso Club ad does have a disclaimer that informs viewers the actor is only a George Clooney lookalike, and the coffee company claims the commercial is comedic and merely aimed to poke fun at Nespresso. They say the ad is meant to target customers looking for a more “informal” coffee experience. Nespresso and its parent company Nestle obviously continues to think otherwise.
While the character playing the George Clooney lookalike doesn’t really look that much like him, the similarities are enough to mislead the viewing public into thinking it might just be the real deal.
— Evening Standard (@standardnews) January 22, 2016
It seems the coffee pod game is pretty cutthroat. Currently, around 30 billion coffee pods are sold each year worldwide, with Nespresso the market leader in those sales. However, according to the Guardian there around 180 companies who produce similar capsules that are, it seems, compatible with the Nespresso coffee pod machines. So that is bad enough and could potentially affect Nestle’s billion dollar sales, but having a George Clooney lookalike to aid in taking away business on top of that is rather like the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.
While Nespresso still currently rules the roost when it comes to coffee pods and is not afraid to launch suits against competitors, they have also apparently been on the other side of lawsuits in the past in a cutthroat battle to keep the “compatible” capsules away from their machines.
In a report in the Beverage Daily, back in 2015, the Ethical Coffee Company (ECC) sued Nespresso for $163 million, claiming a harpoon-like device used in some of their Nespresso machines to render compatible pods incompatible has violated a patent held by ECC, but Nespresso continued to defend their capsule sustainability, and reportedly, they won.
While Nespresso heads into its appeal against the controversial ad by Expresso Club, included below is a video containing some of the best and funny moments of the real George Clooney acting on behalf of Nestle with a whole galaxy of other famous stars. You might agree there actually isn’t any competition at all.
[Photo George Clooney by by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images – Lookalike via YouTube]