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Chairman Mao's cook wins lawsuit vs PepsiCo|
Updated: 2004-07-23 10:42
A former cook for Communist revolutionary Mao Zedong has won a lawsuit against U.S. food giant PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) after it used the cook's picture to advertise Lay's potato chips, state media reported Thursday.
Chairman Mao Zedong poses for a photo with three of his serving staff. Dong Linfa (the first from right) is seen in this undated photo.
PepsiCo Foods (China) Co. had no immediate comment on the report that it owes retired cook Dong Linfa 10,000 yuan ($1=CNY8.28) and a public apology following the ruling by Shanghai's Xuhui District Court, Shanghai Daily reported.
Lay's potato chips, a product of U.S. food giant PepsiCo Inc. [baidu]
It said in 2003 PepsiCo asked Dong for permission to use his picture for advertising its products, but that the deal fell through when the company wouldn't pay the CNY50,000 he demanded.
Months later, Dong found packages of Lay's potato chips in a local supermarket adorned with his photo and information about him, the newspaper said.
PepsiCo argued that it had permission to use Dong's photos because he had participated in a gourmet program it sponsored at a Shanghai vocational school, the report said.
"Even if we used the pictures without approval, it should be (up to) the school to ask the court to protect its rights," the Shanghai Daily quoted PepsiCo's lawyer, Xu Jun, as saying.
But the court ruled that portraits can't be used for commercial purposes without the agreement of the people involved.
Dong, 67, only spent a few years cooking for Mao, in the early 1960s. But he was famed for cooking one of Mao's favorite dishes, pork braised in brown sauce. He spent the rest of his career working at Shanghai's Jinjiang Hotel, a local landmark.