Airbnb and Julia Child Foundation reach settlement over promotion of French home
A foundation that represents the estate of famed chef Julia Child has settled a lawsuit against Airbnb over a promotion that offered a free night’s stay at Child’s vacation home in France.
Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts sued the short-term rental company in June, saying Airbnb used Child’s name and likeness for a Memorial Day promotion without the foundation’s permission.
The foundation said that Child had a long-standing policy of refusing to endorse cooking products or let others use her name for promotions or advertising.
Airbnb launched a promotion last summer, offering a free night’s stay for two at the villa in the Provence region of France. An email blast from Airbnb’s marketing firm touted the property as “the former home of Julia Child,” even though she primarily used it as a vacation home.
In a joint statement, Airbnb and the foundation said the two sides had “reached an amicable resolution” to the lawsuit. Both sides agreed not to reveal the terms of the resolution, a foundation spokeswoman said.
The property is still listed on Airbnb’s website but the only mention of the famous chef is in the description, which says the home was built by Julia and Paul Child. The website goes on to say the home “catalyzed the food movement in 1970s Provence” and “has hosted hundreds of famous food influencers over the years.”
The three-bedroom house rents for $395 a night, with a minimum five-night stay. The home is already booked until December 2017.
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