Apparently, owning the keys to a Ferrari doesn’t necessarily mean you can do whatever you want with it for all of social media to behold.
German fashion designer Philipp Plein was threatened by the Italian supercar manufacturer with legal action over the use of its vehicles in his Instagram posts. Plein, who boasts over 1.8 million followers on the platform, went off on the brand several days ago, calling the move blackmail and demanding an apology from Ferrari boss Louis Camilleri.
“Ferrari gave me an ultimatum of 48 hours to remove a photo of my personal Ferrari from my personal Instagram,” Plein said in an Instagram post. “The CEO of Ferrari Louis C. Camilleri should think twice before he let his lawyers send a letter like this to a valuable customer who bought four brand new Ferrari’s in the last 10 years!”
By the looks of the photo Plein posted, Ferrari may have taken issues with how he utilized its products as props in his Instagram, calling their use ‘distasteful.’
“This behavior tarnishes the reputation of Ferrari’s brands and causes Ferrari further material damage. In fact, the undesired connection between Ferrari’s trademarks on the one hand, and Philipp Plein’s line of shoes (and the questionable manner in which they are promoted) on the other hand, is interfering negatively with the rights enjoyed by Ferrari’s selected licensees which are exclusively entitled to use Ferrari’s trademarks to produce and promote line of shoes Ferrari branded,” the company wrote Plein.
“Ferrari will bring this further unlawful, unfair, and harmful behavior to the attention of the Courts,” the letter continues.
“Without prejudice to Ferrari’s right to take any action, we hereby formally ask you to remove, no later than 48 hours from the receipt of this letter, the images above mentioned from all media, including websites and social networks, ceasing any use of Ferrari’s trademark and model cars for commercial purposes.”
Plein posted a photo of the letter six days ago. We’re not entirely sure which photos Ferrari is referring to, but a dark green 812 Superfast is featured prominently on Plein’s feed—some of the images with scantily clad women and designer footwear next to (or on top of) the vehicle.
What do you think of this situation? Does Ferrari have the right to keep an owner from posting his or her vehicle in the same manner Plein is?