"A Popular Bank Used My Photo for Advert Without My Consent, Can I Sue Them?" Lawyer Explains

"A Popular Bank Used My Photo for Advert Without My Consent, Can I Sue Them?" Lawyer Explains

  • A young lady discovered her photo being used in an advertisement by a popular Nigerian bank without her consent
  • The lady who spoke anonymously said friends and relatives have been calling to congratulate her, thinking she bagged an influencing deal with the bank
  • Legal expert Stanley Alieke provided the position of the law regarding the use of someone's photo for adverts without their consent and cited similar previous cases

A young woman who wished to be anonymous said a popular bank in Nigeria is using her photo for an advert promo without her consent.

Woman asks lawyer/Using photo without consent/Nigerian law
A young lady sought legal advice after her photo was used without her consent. Note: For illustration purposes only. Depicted persons have no relationship to events described in this report.
Source: Getty Images
"I was relaxing at home when a friend of my called me to celebrate my "deal" with one of the popular banks in Nigeria. She said she just saw my photo in one of their adverts and asked why I didn't tell her about my deal with the bank.

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"What deal? I asked. Apparently, I didn't have any deal or relationship with the bank. They just picked my photo from my Instagrame page and used it for their advert without my consent.
"I have been bombarded with phone calls from relatives and friends congratulating me for bagging a deal with the bank just because of the photo. Is this not illegal? Can I sue the bank?"

Legal expert Stanley Alieke reacts

Barrister Stanley Alieke is an Abuja-based legal practitioner, human rights activist and managing partner at Stanley Alieke & Co., Law Capitol.

The direct and straightforward answer to this question is Yes.

You have the right of action to sue the bank or any other person not just for infringing on your image copyright by making use of your intellectual property without your consent but also for invading your privacy as constitutionally provided.

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By the provisions of intellectual property laws, every individual is entitled to be the full owner of his image, his slogan or name (if trademarked) and his invention, and any other person or organization who wants to make use of a person’s intellectual property, especially for advertisement or commercial purposes must do so with the full consent, permission and approval of the owner, originator or inventor.

Cases on use of photos without consent

I remember in 2022, a stranger walked into my office and narrated how a popular Nigerian bank came to the market where she sells to take some pictures of the market and of the market traders; she sells food groceries in Wuse market, Abuja. The bank took some pictures of some market sellers and took her pictures as well in her outlet.

She was surprised to subsequently see her pictures on billboards around the city centres erected by the banks for their commercial campaigns without any prior conversation with her or even asking for her approval for the advertisement.

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I wrote to the bank demanding that the billboard be taken down and the woman, who is now my client, be compensated for the advertisement, or we take the matter to court. The bank listened to the voice of reason and complied with our terms.

Same 2022, it made headlines that Sabinus and his lawyer (which is me) dragged Peak Milk and Gala to court, demanding N1 billion compensation for using his image and his trademarked slogan for advertisement without his consent.

Acting as Sabinus’s lawyer, I brought an action in court demanding fair compensation for the intellectual property infringement of my client Mr Chukwuemeka Emmanuel Aka Sabinus. We settled out of court with one of the companies, but we are still before the court with another, hence why I won’t delve so much into it until the court makes final pronouncement on the matter.

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Similarly, last year, precisely on the 14th of August 2023, Palmpay Ltd (popularly known as Palmpay), a renowned Neo bank operating in Nigeria, made a post on their official X (formerly Twitter) page and attached with it an image of Mr Darlington Achakpo, Aka Speed Darlington/Akpi, a famous Nigerian musician and entertainer.

Mr Speed Darlington retained my service as his lawyer to help him seek judicial remedy for the infringement. We filed an action in court seeking N200 million in damages for the infringement.

Palmpay Ltd subsequently admitted their wrongdoings and contacted us for an out-of-court settlement. They fairly compensated my client Mr Speed Darlington for the breach.

All these examples which I was personally involved as the lawyer to those whose intellectual properties have been used for advertisement without their consent, show that you have the right to seek damages in court, and the court will definitely grant you one if your picture or any of intellectual properties was used for advertisement without your consent. You deserve to be fairly compensated for it.

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Spraying naira notes is an offence - lawyer

In another report, Nigerian lawyer Alieke explained the legal implications of spraying money at parties, making money cakes, etc.

He was reacting to the story of a young lady who was arrested by police for spraying Naira notes at her private birthday party.

Disclaimer: Advice given in this article is general in nature and is not intended to influence readers' decisions about solving problems. Readers should always seek their own professional advice that takes into account their own personal circumstances before making any decision.

Do you have a story to tell? Want an expert's advice? Please email us at ask.an.expert@corp.legit.ng with 'Ask an expert' in the subject line.

Source: Legit.ng

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