Refaeli. 'I am paid a lot for my work'
Photo: Getty Images
PR photo
Ben-Dov. 'Refaeli was trying to squeeze use for undue money'

Bar Refaeli modeling contracts exposed

Dispute between Israeli supermodel, businessman Ilan Ben-Dov continues in court debate, revealing truth behind advertising campaigns

Saga goes on: The dispute between supermodel Bar Refaeli and businessman Ilan Ben-Dov's Suny Electronics is expected to reach its climax when the parties meet in court Thursday.


The affair began in the winter of 2006, when Refaeli led Suny's Samsung super-thin mobile phones campaign.


Three years later, Refaeli filed a NIS 5 million ($1.38 million) lawsuit against Suny and Ben-Dov, claiming the company violated the terms of the agreement by distributing a video on the Web without her consent and intended to unlawfully use photos from a promotional event in which she was to be the star guest.


Suny retaliated with a NIS 2 million ($550,000) countersuit on the claim that Refaeli foiled the campaign.


'I'm a highly demanded model'

One bone of contention concerned the question whether Suny would have been within its rights had it used the footage in question for the purpose of cinema advertising.


Refaeli claimed that her mother and she categorically ensure that her contracts specify the media which is permitted for the distribution of her commercials, up to the names of the television channels on which they will be broadcasted and the limitation on the number of channels.


As an example, Refaeli submitted four of her employment contracts, each of which includes a closed media list.


The contract provisions are disputable; however, in the meantime, Suny hired the former CEO of the Warshavsky-Freilich-Dovev ad agency, Eli Dovev, nowadays a consultant, to pen an expert opinion on the matter.


"Cinema advertising is considered to be complementary form of advertising to the mainstream, popular media," Dovev wrote.


Refaeli contended: "I did not give Suny my consent to show the commercial in cinemas… Cinema advertising pays models large sums of money, especially models of my caliber, and in all due modesty – I am considered an important and highly demanded model on an international scale.


"I am paid a lot for my work… I would never have agreed to have one of my commercials screened in cinemas for $2,500."


There are two additional major controversies between the parties: One concerns the uploading of behind the scenes footage to a social website partly owned by Ben-Dov's Suny, and the second concerns Suny's promotional party to which Refaeli declined to arrive at the last minute.


Refaeli claimed that "my participation in the party was not included in the promotional activities I agreed to do in my contract… As far as I'm concerned, the party was another link in a chain of fraudulent and deceitful actions against my mother and myself perpetrated by Suny."


Refaeli and her mother claimed that they were told the party would be "a private, intimate party" and "a reception" held by Ben-Dov after completing the shooting of the commercial.


"Just before the shooting was wrapped up, I got word that the party was not intimate but massive," wrote Tzipi Refaeli. Her daughter claimed, "I was not informed that media representatives were invited to the party."


Ben-Dov had his own take on the events: "On the day we shot the commercial, Tzipi Refaeli made an uncommon request that I increase the pay by $10,000-20,000… I felt that Refaeli was trying to squeeze us for undue money.


"Unfortunately, following the incident, Tzipi and Bar Refaeli began deliberately turning their backs on the campaign."


As regards to the alleged promise for a private, intimate affair, Ben-Dov wrote: "This claim is unfounded (to say the least)."


With a handshake or by threats?

In mid 2007, the parties attempted to reconcile their differences. According to Ben-Dov, the meeting did not go as planned.


"I was told that unless I pay Refaeli $250,000 in compensations, Suny and my own reputation would be ruined in Israel and in the world... These threats were put into action in a letter sent to Samsung Chairman and CEO Lee Kun-hee and to Samsung Electronics CEO Jong-Yong Yun, which brings serious allegations against Suny, including deceit."


The Refaelis denied these accusations, arguing that "no threats were made; we parted with a handshake."


Refaeli's representative, Attorney Yosef Miller, imparted: "The facts will come to light in court. Already at this point, it is evident from the company's affidavit that they fabricated the contract."


Suny and attorney Moshe Barhod, who represents the company and Ben-Dov, offered no comment.


Click here to read this report in Hebrew



פרסום ראשון: 11.08.11, 08:23
 new comment
See all talkbacks "Bar Refaeli modeling contracts exposed"
This will delete your current comment