Bethenny Frankel sues TikTok for ad using her image

Drag TikTok to the right. Bethenny Frankel is suing the social media platform in a class action lawsuit, alleging that the site misused its image and likeness.

The Real Housewives of New York City alum, 51, filed the complaint on Thursday, Oct. 6, accusing the company of allegedly violating “its right to publicity and the unauthorized use of her image and likeness to promote and sell counterfeit products on the platform.”

According to documents obtained by we weekly, Frankel is seeking compensation for “significant damage to her business and reputation, as well as wide-ranging changes to impose stricter rules on TikTok’s ads” after a video she shot was reposted without her consent for an untrustworthy ad. She requested a jury trial, where the amount of compensation can be officially determined.

The CEO of Skinnygirl, who has more than 990,000 followers on TikTok, claimed she was warned by fans in September that a user edited a video of Frankel discussing a sweater she liked to promote instead of promoting an alleged counterfeit.

Through her lawsuit, Frankel is urging the platform to better serve creators and their content “in any form, including but not limited to images, videos, text, and audio, created and published on social media or other channels.” protect against abuse and misrepresentation.”

Discussing her hopes for the case, the Bravo personality shared: The Washington Post that she wants TikTok to make “a tangible change” in their policies. “There needs to be an effort by TikTok to protect makers and consumers,” she told the outlet. “There are people who have bought these products after seeing these ads with me in them.”

She added in an additional statement, “I want to be a voice for change in space.”

After being made aware of the ad, Frankel addressed the incident in multiple videos. “This is something that needs to be addressed because it’s a breeding ground for scams,” she said in a TikTok shared on Sept. 18, adding in a subsequent upload: “These people are garbage, rogue thugs who steal, and their products are waste, and don’t buy them.”

A TikTok spokesperson, meanwhile, defended the platform’s efforts. “We have a strict policy of both protecting people’s hard-earned intellectual property and banning deceptive content from TikTok,” Ashley Nash-Hahn told the paper. “We regularly review and improve our policies and processes to combat increasingly sophisticated fraud attempts and further strengthen our systems.”

Frankel’s lawsuit isn’t just in her favor – she hopes other creators see the difference too. “Consumers and creators are being exploited without any ability or power to defend and protect themselves. That ends now,” she wrote via Instagram on Thursday. “Social media, and its impact as the most powerful medium in the world, cannot be a reckless marketplace where people risk their rights and privacy being violated without protection. My demand for myself, for creators and consumers is correct and just… and I will not stop until myself, my community and our children are protected.”

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