I think federal causes are tricky to plead in this one.

Defendant operates a strip club in Long Island.  Plaintiffs are 19 women, all of whom seem to be well-known professional models.  Defendant allegedly reproduced photos of plaintiffs on its Instagram (or other social media) accounts, and ‘intentionally altered’ the images ‘in order to make it appear that they worked at or endorsed’ defendant’s club.

The New York state rights of privacy and publicity causes are straightforward.

How would you plead false endorsement and false advertising?

Before you answer, read the decision embedded below.  There was a similar lawsuit involving models suing a sex club in Boca Raton, in 2016 (not the site of the 2016 INTA Leadership Meeting in Boca that year).  There is an interesting holding that allowed the models to base a false endorsement claim on an intent to commercialize their images (as opposed to basing false endorsement on ownership of a trademark). The decision also contains survey results as to what people think when they see pictures of women on a club’s social media account (spoiler – they think the women frequent the club).

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