Watch your Steps: Role of Morality Clauses in Talent and Endorsement Agreements

  • Nandika Seth
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  • Nandika Seth

    Student at NMIMS School of Law, Mumbai, India

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“Reputations take a lifetime to build and seconds to destroy’’ so goes this famous aphorism. The role of celebrity endorsement exerts a pivotal role in influencing the sales of a product in the market. Everyone wishes to emulate their favourite celebrity’s lifestyle and sense of fashion. One always associates their favourite actor with the character he has played and mimics his dialogues. This is why brands and production houses wisely choose a celebrity to represent them since the celebrity extends their values. At times the conduct of the celebrity can be incongruous with society’s prevalent standards of morality, which can malign the company’s public image. This can leave long-lasting scars on companies’ and production houses’ image in the public eye. Moral clauses deter a celebrity from doing an act morally abhorred and censured by society. These clauses are mentioned as a part of the employment agreements and broadly spell few categories of conduct that the company or production house disapproves of and indulgence of, which would lead to termination of the contract. These covenants shroud the shoulders of the celebrity with a sense of accountability to the company or production house for their conduct. This paper delves into the meaning, history and development of morality clauses in talent and endorsement agreements, travelling a trajectory from the insertion of moral clauses to the germination of reverse moral clauses, the legal feud between the company and celebrities when the latter have taken legal recourse to challenge their wrongful termination of the contract by the company, certain instances where morality clauses have cost the company a huge cost.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 5, Page 933 - 941


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


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