Food Brands Can Now Use Paul Newman's Image To Help Kids In Need

The history of advertising, as you may be well aware, is full of success stories linked to celebrity endorsements. 

In 2020, basketball player Shaquille O'Neal and pizza chain Papa John's launched The Shaq-a Roni Pizza, which sold over 3 million pies, and raised $3 million for charity in just two months (per SEJ). That same year, Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons launched the limited-edition Timbiebs, a collaboration between the chain's chef and singer Justin Bieber, involving donut holes dreamed up in flavors inspired by the singer, while Megan Thee Stallion launched a "hottie sauce" in partnership with Popeye's (per The New York Times). 

But in a never-before-attempted move, Newman's Own, the food company first created by Hollywood Legend Paul Newman, is celebrating its 40th year by giving away Paul Newman's image to other brands in a program it's calling "Newman's Deal." The firm says it's doing away with licensing fees for a limited period and any company willing to use his image can do so — with a catch. The brand needs to agree to give 100% of its profits from any Newman-endorsed products to charities that help children.  

"For 40 years, Paul Newman's face has been a symbol of radically good philanthropy... This limited time offer to use Paul Newman's likeness is the perfect way to celebrate his inspiring legacy," the company's Chief Marketing Officer Nicole Malcom-Manyara said in a press release.

But getting permission to use the image isn't as simple as it sounds.

Companies have to apply to be a part of Newman's Deal

Per the press release, those interested need to apply between now and November 24, and they will either be selected or rejected by January 31, 2023.

The initiative also coincides with Newman's Own's decision to rebrand itself — the company is unveiling a new logo and new packaging, as well as a new tagline; some will even have stories of children who have been helped by the foundation.

But what the foundation isn't talking about is how the founder's family might feel about the new campaign. Per The Wall Street Journal, Newman's daughters, Susan and Nell, filed a major lawsuit against the company alleging that their father's will was "amended a few months before his death, when he wasn't mentally competent." The lawsuit also claims that in 2020, the direct charitable donations for each daughter's chosen charity in the amount of $400,000 was lessened to $200,000, a move they said is a "violation of Mr. Newman's wishes." The sisters are hoping to obtain "$1.6 million in damages" and then distribute that money to a charity, or multiple charities.

It's not known whether this lawsuit will have an impact on Newman's Deal since the campaign hinges on the late actor's image.