Actor and writer B.J. Novak has become the face of several products after a photo of his face was mistakenly uploaded to a public domain website.
On Instagram last week, Novak revealed that his face was being used to sell such products as a Calvin Klein cologne in Sweden, electric razors in China, face paint in Uruguay and more, as reported by The New York Times.
The Office star and writer posted photos of the products in a collection on his Instagram titled “modelling”, where he explained: “Years ago, someone mistakenly put an image of me on a public domain site, and now apparently I am on products all around the world.” The history of the image, including the photographer, could not be determined.
Despite the recent collection of pictures, Novak has been aware of this mishap since at least 2014, posting a photo of the perfume some 399 weeks ago with the caption: “I am #blessed to announce the launch of my fragrance, available now in a Swedish department store”.
While The New York Times report that there are a number of legal options for Novak to pursue, should he want to, the 42-year-old wrote on Instagram: “I’m too amused to do anything about it.”
“It’s really the fact that his face or likeness is associated with a particular product,” lawyer Marc Misthal told NYT, “because they’re using his likeness in order to attract customers and basically make money.”
Last month, Novak opened up about the inspiration behind The Office‘s writing, saying that The Sopranos held the “biggest influence” over the beloved series.
Speaking on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Novak revealed that he had tried to hire James Gandolfini as a replacement for Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott, after he left the series in 2011.
“I was at the meeting with James Gandolfini where we tried to convince him to join the show,” said Novak.
“He was shy, intrigued and he’s my favourite actor of all time so I just thought it would be great because to me, The Sopranos was actually the biggest influence on The Office because of the way that comedy, drama and character were all completely indistinguishable.”