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Tuesday, 27 November, 2001, 17:35 GMT
Spice Girls appeal in scooter case
Spice Girls promoting Aprilia
The Spice Girls with their scooters - before Geri left
The Spice Girls have appealed against a ruling that they should repay 400,000 to a scooter company over a sponsorship deal which flopped when Geri Halliwell left the band.

The girls were ordered to pay Aprilia the money last year after the High Court ruled they had known Halliwell was about to leave when they signed the deal.

But on Tuesday the group told the Court of Appeal they were "innocent" and said the former Ginger Spice had left without warning.

Aprilia's Gregor Kleinknecht with Spice Sonic publicity
The promotion became a "total marketing flop", the original hearing heard

They argued that in fact they should have won their original claim for 218,000 against the company.

They said they signed the deal with Aprilia in March 1998 and Halliwell told of her intention to leave the following month.

At first she said she would not be leaving until the end of a US tour in September that year, and this would have had no effect on the contract.

But she changed her mind and quit without warning in May, said Ian Mill QC, representing the girls, who were not in court.

'Total flop'

Aprilia, which sponsored the 1998 Spiceworld tour, had signed a 500,000 contract with the girls to promote its products, including a special Spice Sonic scooter with a silhouette of the five Spice Girls on it.

Geri Halliwell
Geri: Left the act "without warning" in May 1998

But the original hearing was told the promotional campaign had turned into a "total marketing flop" when Halliwell left the group, costing the company millions of pounds in lost profits.

When Aprilia refused to pay the Spice Girls any more on the sponsorship contract, the group launched their action against the company.

They want 100,000 in unpaid fees, 112,250 in guaranteed royalties on sales of the Sonic Spice scooter and 6,000 for scooters promised to them.

They also want the appeal judges to quash Mrs Justice Arden's ruling that they should pay 45,550 damages for scooters which Aprilia did supply them, plus legal costs.

Aprilia are counter-appealing over Mrs Justice Arden's refusal to award damages for misrepresentation.

The case, which is being heard by Sir Andrew Morritt, the Vice Chancellor, and Lords Justices Chadwick and Rix, is set to last three days.

The case continues.

See also:

24 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Spice Girls lose motorcycle case
24 Feb 00 | Business
Sponsorship can add real spice
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