When Myriam B�dard, Canada's double gold medalist in the biathlon at the 1994 Winter Olympics, saw the likeness of a grimacing biathlete (below, right) looking out from an ad for Wrigley's gum, she did a double take. B�dard recognized herself in the picture, but just barely—she had been shorn of her blonde hair, her goggles had been mirrored over and other features of the image had been doctored. She was horrified, not merely because she has no endorsement deal with Wrigley, but also because, she claims, the altered image stripped her of her femininity.
B�dard, who makes speaking appearances and has an endorsement contract with Canadian National Railways, argues unabashedly that her femininity is an asset threatened by the ad. She has filed a lawsuit against Wrigley and its ad agency BBDO Canada, remarkable not in its size ($850,000 Canadian) but because of the outrage behind it. "I've always made a point of remaining feminine in a sport that is very demanding and very masculine," she said when the suit was announced.
BBDO Canada has admitted it erred in using and altering B�dard's image and offered her an apology and $4,000 compensation. But she claims the offer is insufficient to address the damage already done: "The ads have infringed upon what is dearest to me after my loved ones—my integrity as a woman and the integrity of my image."