Court bans Kalou-Verdonk parody ad

13th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

12 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — Insurance company Centraal Beheer Achmea has been ordered to stop showing its commercial that parodies Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk's refusal to grant Feyenoord star Salomon Kalou accelerated naturalisation.

12 April 2006

AMSTERDAM — Insurance company Centraal Beheer Achmea has been ordered to stop showing its commercial that parodies Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk's refusal to grant Feyenoord star Salomon Kalou accelerated naturalisation.

In the advert, an actor playing Verdonk watches on television as a Kalou look-alike appears for Germany against the Dutch in the World Cup. 

A court in The Hague ruled the insurance company must withdraw the advert or pay a fine of EUR 50,000 each time it shows it from today.

Kalou is a native of Ivory Coast and the parody centres on his bid to get a Dutch passport in time to be selected to play for Holland in the World Cup this summer. Verdonk has stuck to her decision not to fast-track his application despite support for Kalou from the Dutch football association and soccer legend Johan Cruyff.

Kalou took the legal action against Achmea, claiming the company did not have his permission to use his name and his celebrity status. Achmea had sought his clearance and he was initially willing to allow it, but financial services group Fortis, Feyenoord's main sponsor, vetoed the idea. Fortis and Achmea are competitors.

Achmea refused to withdraw the advert from television and the internet as the company argued it contributed to the debate "about a case of public internet". The company said on Thursday that it would respect the court decision but would consider appealing.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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