When Bradley Wells was vacationing with his family at Fall Creek Falls for Independence Day in 2011, he came across an unexpected sight. There, on a blanket advertising MoonPies, was a picture of Wells as a child — taken more than 30 years ago.
In 1977, Wells and his dog Ziggy, did a photoshoot with Chattanooga Bakery Inc. — which produces the gooey Tennessee treat. At the time, his family was told the picture would be used in onsite literature. He was compensated with a few boxes of MoonPies and sent on his way.
But after discovering the blanket and other current uses of his image, Wells late last month filed a lawsuit against CBI in Davidson County Chancery Court, claiming the MoonPie makers owe him more than just baked goods for the usage of his likeness.
Several months after his family vacation, Wells came across his image again. This time, his childhood picture was on a RC Cola-MoonPie combo package at the Loveless Cafe. An RC Cola had been digitally altered into his picture, according to the suit — which also names Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, the manufacturers of RC Cola, as a defendant.
Further research also found Wells' photo on a MoonPie carton, a MoonPie “Memories” book and even on the storefront doors leading into the Chattanooga MoonPie General Store.
The suit — view it here  — filed by attorney Todd Hancock from local firm Prochaska Thompson Quinn & Ferraro.
It accuses MoonPie and RC Cola of violating the Tennessee Personal Rights Protection Act and the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. Wells argues the defendants used his image for financial gain without his consent and that there was a misrepresentation of Wells' endorsement of the products.
The suit requests that a judge grant Wells compensatory damages, punitive damages, treble damages under the TCPA and attorney’s fees.
CBI Chief Marketing Officer Tory Johnston was unavailable for comment on Thursday. The defendants hadn't been served with the lawsuit as of Thursday, according to court filings.