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Last week Lindsay Lohan decided it was a good time to file a lawsuit against online stockbroker E*Trade. A month after the Superbowl, the celebrity has been emotionally damaged by what she referred to as a parody of her life and misuse of her likeness. She is suing the company for $100 million in damages, claiming the ad has exploited her hardships for financial gain. Lohan has compared herself to celebrities such as Cher and Madonna, saying the single name “Lindsay” is synonymous with her brand. The case is pretty laughable, but it offers some interesting insight into PR and advertising for both brands.

Over the past several years, Lohan has lived in the tabloid spotlight and been scrutinized for her wild lifestyle. One celebrity blog actually banned her from their site, saying her problems are self-imposed: “Lindsay’s downfall isn’t about some chemical imbalance or anything, Lindsay’s problem is The Cult of Entitlement, you know? No one telling her ‘no,’ no one telling her ‘you can’t pull this sh-t and still have a career.’ Except people did say that to Lindsay, and she was too coked up to listen.” Her new lawsuit is just more cannon fodder for the tabloids. I don’t think anyone has taken her seriously or considered her a talented star for several years. The young celebrity needs to drop this case and have a PR makeover if she wants to be widely accepted again. E*Trade on the other hand, has nothing to worry about.

On Saturday I coincidentally met an E*Trade employee who shared his opinion on the issue. He said the company is loving the attention and her lawsuit has only given them more free advertising. Whenever the story is brought up on TV or blogs, etc., the ad is played or linked, creating more impressions on potential customers. Throughout their history, E*Trade has had a fairly good reputation and their recent series of baby ads have also been positively received. Lohan would have to know that this lawsuit would refresh the series of ads on television, only “traumatizing” her more. Wikipedia noted that E*Trade’s stock price did not  change significantly after the lawsuit was announced, “suggesting that the market currently believes that Lohan’s suit will not succeed.” At this point, E*Trade is gaining a lot of positive attention with very minimal risk.

I see this whole ordeal as another sad chapter in the failing celebrity’s life. At this point it seems like Lohan has reached her peak as an actress and is just doing anything she can to stay in the spotlight. Whether she loves the attention or she just really is that vain, going head-to-head with E*Trade is one of the worst PR moves the actress can make for her career and future. No one took her seriously before and her recent act has solidified her reputation as a clown. If she does ever try to turn her career around, she’s going to have a very  difficult time working out of her hole. I feel for her current (though she doubtfully has one) and future PR people; hopefully they don’t end up with a rope around their necks, because there’s not much light at the end of that tunnel.

Do you think Lohan will ever make it out of her rut, PR or career-wise? Are there any negative implications that E*Trade has to face because of the celebrity’s attention? How much money would you have to be paid to help Miss Lohan out? Or do you think there’s a simple solution to her problems?

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One Comment

  1. I’ve met my comment quota, but I had to comment on this because Good. Lord. What a trainwreck!

    Why on earth would she ADMIT to being associated with the suffix “oholic.” It’s like she’s branding herself by bringing it to people’s attention.


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