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Thursday, 24 January, 2002, 12:06 GMT
Spice Girls' scooter appeal flops
Spice Girls promoting Aprilia
The Spice Girls with their scooters - before Geri left
The Spice Girls will have to pay an estimated 250,000 to an Italian scooter manufacturer after the Court of Appeal upheld a ruling against them in their long-running legal battle with the company.

The case centred on a sponsorship deal in 1998 that flopped when Geri Halliwell left the band.

The High Court originally ruled in February 2000 that the girls had known Halliwell was about to leave when they signed the deal with the Italian-owned firm, Aprilia World Service.

They were told at the time they had to pay Aprilia damages plus legal costs.

Three Appeal Court judges confirmed the decision on Thursday, saying the group had been guilty of misrepresentation when they signed the 500,000 contract with Aprilia.

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

That misrepresentation had had a wider impact on the company than the High Court had originally found, they added.

Vice Chancellor Sir Andrew Morritt, Lord Justice Chadwick and Lord Justice Rix dismissed the Spice Girls' appeal and awarded Aprilia all its costs.

The final figure to be paid by the Spice Girls has yet to be confirmed as the legal fees have risen due to the cost of the appeal.

The five members of the Spice Girls had argued that they should have won their original claim for unpaid sponsorship fees and guaranteed royalties on a special edition scooter they promoted.

They claimed they signed the deal with Aprilia in March 1998, and Halliwell revealed her intention to leave the following month.

'Total flop'

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

But the original hearing was told the promotional campaign had turned into a "total marketing flop" when Halliwell left the group.

The company had lost millions of pounds, the High Court heard.

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

Geri Halliwell
Geri: Left the act in May 1998

They claimed 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 wanted the appeal judges to quash Mrs Justice Arden's ruling that they should pay 45,550 damages for scooters Aprilia supplied to the girls, plus legal costs.

See also:

27 Nov 01 | Entertainment
Spice Girls appeal in scooter case
24 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Spice Girls lose motorcycle case
24 Feb 00 | Business
Sponsorship can add real spice
23 Oct 01 | Showbiz
Spice Girls' rise to fame
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