Hong Kong Model May Lose Millions for Leaking Panasonic Camera on Instagram

Hong Kong model Angelababy lost her contract with Panasonic after leaking a photo of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 on Instagram in March of this year. And now: a legal mess that could cost millions.

China News reports that Panasonic is seeking a refund of their contract, worth 9,910,014 yuan (about $1,559,181.51 USD) plus another million yuan ($157,334 USD) in damages for the leak: a serious trade secret violation that Panasonic also said would affect their marketing plans and strategies. The ad agency in charge of the Panasonic campaign, McCann Shanghai, countersued Panasonic, saying the terminated contract is unlawful and the terms of their contract were met.

(via DPreview)

Image credit: Photograph by Crossroads Foundation Photos

  • Chris

    Panasonic must be hurting financially. New camera models are rumoured all the time online, just look at Canon and Nikon for example. If the camera was that top secret, (a) why did she have it? (b) if they didn’t want it getting out there, why was that not part of her contract for which she was hired? and (c) if they were that serious about it being hush hush, they’d have had someone there watching it and that would have stopped her photographing it and posting it. Sounds more like Panasonic want a freebie to me

  • Dazam


  • Matt Photodocumentarian

    Yeah, what’s up with Panasonic??? If they wanna sue for that then maybe they won’t have a problem being sued for something ridiculous like carpel tunnel from using their cameras…

  • Joey Duncan

    Ya, to me this is BS, not the article, just the whole “ohhh we didn’t mean for anybody to see it blah blah blah blah.” yeah right, all these companies so this on purpose. Every time a phone or a camera is released these days it’s “leaked” or “stolen” or left in a bathroom, but it goes on for EVERY major release… Nobody falls for it anymore. lol Seems to me Panasonic has nothing to gain from giving the camera to somebody but not wanting others to see it? Again, this just doesn’t add up.

  • Joey Duncan

    Agreed. They need to suck it up and admit THEY screwed up, the model, if even knowing it was a super top secret ohhh my camera didn’t know she was doing that. It isn’t corporate espionage.

  • Wallerus

    how much in sales are they really losing? SMH Panasonic

  • Stan

    I think it’s all just a ploy to gain attention to their new product.

  • Samuel

    They could have PR’d this so well and made a big hoohar about it and got so much publicity bit of a shame really.

  • Nanodog

    I thought Panasonic was better than this.. sad

  • lulz

    strikes the GF5 off the list of cameras to consider. now your losing sales panasonic, and its only because of the way i found out about your new model. congrats.

  • ghostshadow

    If they didn’t want it to get out, then why would they give it to a model? Even though she’s a model, she’s not press or any kind of PR. I can understand promotional items and incentives for doing work with them, but why give people something they want to keep 100% wraps on until it’s released is beyond me.

    If she wasn’t under an NDA of any kind then they cannot claim damages or blame her for supposedly “leaking” classified information.

    In my opinion, her showing the product could have been very beneficial to Panasonic. If she has a large fan base, people see she has a new camera, it’s going to draw interest. People want to know what it is. If they thought about it, they could have used it to their advantage instead of freaking out over it. I mean she didn’t leak specs or anything, so there wasn’t that much damage that was done.

    I guess creating a huge debacle over it will also get headlines for Panasonic, so it’ll work in their favor either way. I love the GF Micro 4/3rd series from Panasonic, they are truly some impressive little cameras, especially for video. It kind of bums me out they are reacting this way.

  • BertoGarcia

    Panasonic every day is bringing out new models of cameras with high quality