Psychics Sue over Cereal Ad
Did She See It Coming?
The cereal company General Mills is allegedly being sued by Psychic Readers Network, Inc. for use of the Miss Cleo persona in one of their recent commercials advertising a re-boot of their brand French Toast Crunch. Oddly enough, it was Youree Dell Harris (Miss Cleo) herself who reprised her own role for the ad. According to sources, the federal suit claims that the Miss Cleo character was copyrighted under Miss Cleo Creatives in 2002 and is still owned by Psychic Readers Network. Miss Cleo‘s attorney through an alleged conversation with the Sun Sentinel claims, “I have never seen anything from [Psychic Readers Network] saying she needed to cease and desist from using this persona.”
General Mills has reportedly removed instances of the ad from social media and advertiser broadcast networks, though the video is said to still be up on TMZ.
In 2002 Psychic Readers Network was the subject of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission on charges of “deceptive advertising, billing and collection practices” though Miss Cleo was not charged. The company settled for a fraction of the amount collected from the hotlines with federal authorities. During the investigation, information emerged that Miss Cleo was not Jamaican as the network had promoted, but that the infomercial star was really born in Los Angeles.
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