Entries in Model (3)


Model Says Volvo Made Her Look Like an Escort in Ad

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A model has sued Volvo for its use of her photo in print and Internet ads, alleging that the Sweden-based car maker made her look like a Swedish escort, according to court documents.

Carolyn Giles, 30, says a photo exclusively for Volvo’s S40 model car has turned up in ad after ad for all kinds of products from tourism to rental cars in at least 25 different countries, all without her consent.

She is suing Volvo, Hertz and her modeling agency -- Ford Models -- for $23 million.

“I was paid $2,000 unlimited usage for Volvo for their S40 model,” Giles told ABC News’ Diana Perez.

The most offensive, unauthorized use of her image, she says, was on an Australian dating website promoting a night of socializing, sponsored by Volvo.  The website,, invites singles to “spend a night with a Swedish model of your choice.”

After the ad mentions the Swedish models, it says they come in the shape of four spectacular cars.

Volvo said in a statement that it was a play on words and “the ‘sexy Swedish models’ were cars, not escorts.”  (Ford Models declined to comment and Hertz did not respond to a request for comment.)

But Giles doesn’t buy the play-on-words defense.  

“It took me really, really looking through it at least two times for me to even get to that,” she said.

Giles says in the lawsuit that the promotion was done “to make it appear that she may be an escort with extreme sexual and inappropriate connotations and innuendos.”

Volvo said Giles signed a release granting rights for “unlimited print and Internet placements worldwide for an unlimited time.”

Giles disagrees with Volvo, saying, “The product is Volvo S40.  I didn’t say that Volvo could use my image for anything Volvo for the rest of my life.”

No matter what happens, Giles, who has been modeling for more than a decade, says her suit is about the principle.

“Even if I end up with nothing,” she said, “I would just be happy if the industry standard changed and people started doing what they’re supposed to do.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


American Apparel Snubs Plus-Size Model Contest Top Vote-Getter

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- When Nancy Upton entered American Apparel’s “Next BIG Thing” search for a plus-size model, her goal was to mockingly protest the company.  Much to her surprise, she ended up winning the popular vote online with her racy food photos. But the company snubbed her and sent her a long letter explaining why.

Upton called on photographer friend Shannon Skloss and did a photo shoot with a high-fashion feel, but a clearly ironic message. The images showed a scantily-clad size-12 Upton posing seductively with a variety of messy foods.

“I thought to myself, ‘What are they sitting around in L.A. thinking? What would they see when they look at a fat girl trying to be sexy?’” Upton told ABC News. “Well, she would be eating.”

In one image, she is soaking in a bathtub filled with ranch dressing. In another, she is eating chicken off the bones in a swimming pool.

“I feel like there are two levels [to the photos]. On the surface … the satirical message is I was trying to be sexy, but just couldn’t stop eating,” Upton exclaimed mockingly. “I want to so badly be accepted, but food!”

“But the real message is, I can be fat and I can be beautiful. The two are not mutually exclusive,” Upton said.

While voters loved her statement photos, American Apparel was less than amused.

“It’s a shame that your project attempts to discredit the positive intentions of our challenge based on your personal distaste for our use of light-hearted language, and that ‘bootylicous’ was too much for you to handle,” American Apparel’s creative director Iris Alonzo wrote to Upton in a letter she posted on her blog, Extra Wiggle Room.

When she first read about the competition, Upton, 24, was offended by the campaign’s tone and choice of words. “If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next XLent model, send us photos of you and your junk to back it up,” said the competition’s description. The winner would receive a trip to L.A. and a modeling gig for the company.

“I just felt talked down to, like I was being condescended to,” Upton said. “Their pants could be ‘sexy,’ but bigger girls had to be ‘curvalicous’ or ‘booty-ful.’” American Apparel is well-known for its racy -- and often controversial -- ads featuring super-skinny models in compromising positions.

At the end of the letter, Alonzo wrote: “Oh -- and regarding winning the contest, while you were clearly the popular choice, we have decided to award the prizes to other contestants that we feel truly exemplify the idea of beauty inside and out, and whom we will be proud to have representing our company.”

Though Upton has no problem with the fact that she will not be representing American Apparel anytime soon, she is happy to have ignited a national conversation.

“I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do on a greater scale than I realized I was doing,” Upton said. “I’ve provoked discussion and promoted awareness about the depiction of plus-size women in the media.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Insurance Institute Names Safest Cars for 2011

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- Sixty-six vehicles made the cut as the safest models for 2011, according to the latest list released Wednesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Insurance Institute gave 40 cars, 25 SUVs and a minivan the "Top Safety Pick" award for scoring the highest in tests that measure how well drivers are protected in front, side, rollover and rear crashes.  The vehicles awarded also had to score well on a roof strength test -- a new requirement the Institute enforced last year.

The leading automakers were Hyundai/Kia and Volkswagen/Audi, which each had nine models listed as winners.  General Motors, Ford/Lincoln, and Toyota/Lexus/Scion followed with eight awards apiece.  Subaru, which earned five awards, was the only manufacturer to have a winning model in every class in which it competes.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio