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Monday, June 1, 1998 Published at 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK


Spice split 'could cost millions'

The five become four - in Oslo before Geri's split was confirmed

Radio 1's The Net reports on the Spice Girls future

Legal experts are predicting that Geri Halliwell's decision to leave the Spice Girls will cost them millions of pounds.

Sponsorship deals featuring the former five some could now be in jeopardy and companies may sue to recover their money.

Mark Stephens says it will be an expensive split
Media lawyer Mark Stephens said: "There's a consequence ... If you were investing large amounts of money as Pepsi Cola to support their US tour, you would not want to pay any money if you didn't get what you bargained for, you bargained for five - not four."

From pop group to brand name

[ image: Will Polaroid want to reshoot its media campaign?]
Will Polaroid want to reshoot its media campaign?
In the last two years the Spice Girls have transcended the sphere of pop music to become a marketing sensation, making a fortune in the process.

At the peak of their success the Spice Girls appealed to almost everyone, from the very young who liked their catchy songs to older girls who identified with their girl power message. This is why they were so attractive to companies looking to make their image more attractive.

[ image: Mel C: life as a foursome]
Mel C: life as a foursome
Although the group is not the first to split up, they are the first to do so after being so aggressively marketed as a brand. The girls signed up to promote with Pepsi, Kodak, Impulse Deodorants and Walkers Crisps to name just a few companies. But now all commercial and product endorsements will have to be re-shot with just the remaining four group members, or risk looking dated.

Mr Stephens said: "That is going to cost a lot of money and someone's going to have to pay for it. It sure as hell won't be the brands that have paid for the money for the endorsement."

Geri to buy her way out

[ image: Ginger Spice - may have some big bills to pay]
Ginger Spice - may have some big bills to pay
In future the band which championed girl power may well be relying on lawyer power to fight off litigation. But the bulk of the costs are likely to land on the lap of the departing Ginger Spice, Geri Halliwell. But the girls' massive success means that she can probably afford to pay whatever it takes.

Mr Stephens predicted that legal matters in the band would already have been sorted out, with Geri Halliwell relinquishing her share of the right to the Spice Girls name for a continuing share of any contracts that were signed when she was a member of the band.

The girl who found fame as Ginger Spice is also likely to continue to earn money from Spice Girl song royalties for many years to come.

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