PM’s photo in Jio ad – is Reliance guilty of unauthorized use of PM’s pic?

This morning saw full page ads by Reliance where they dedicated their Jio 4G offering to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India dream. Full page ads were expected today as RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani had announced the launch of Jio digital services – an ambitious project by Reliance that they have been talking about for some years now – in an annual general meeting of the company yesterday, but the photo of Prime Minister raised curiosity and some eyebrows.

Quite unexpectedly, it was Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was among the first one to raise the issue. He got a chance to attack both Modi and Ambani, and he sent a series of tweets and retweets attacking them:

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

This was soon picked up by AAP followers and supporters, which included people working as journalists, who expressed outrage that the Prime Minister was “endorsing” product of a private company.

Questions were raised if the Prime Minister Modi had given permission to use his photograph in an ad by a private company. If yes, why was a private company favoured? If not, was it an unauthorized use of PM’s photo by a private company?

OpIndia.com got in touch with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to get a reaction, but the authorities refused to give an official statement claiming the issue was a contrived controversy created by some people and it did not merit an official response.

However, PMO officials confirmed that there was no question of Prime Minister endorsing a particular private company’s products or offering. “It is ridiculous to even think that,” an official said, who didn’t want to be quoted.

“Digital India, Swachch Bharat, Startup India, etc. all are pet dreams of the PM, and all government or private parties are welcome to take the message forward without misleading anyone,” the official added.

So it was a case of someone riding on popularity of another person to push one’s own brand. The same was earlier argued by many others on Twitter too, who tried to reason with the group claiming ‘PM endorses Reliance’ theory.

But is it legal? Can any action be taken against Reliance for using photograph of the Prime Minister in a private ad? Experts believe that Reliance could be safe from any legal action as their deeds may not be in contravention of any copyright laws or advertising guidelines.

“If you see clearly, the ad is not talking about any mobile product or plan, but it says it is a dedication to Prime Minister’s dream. There is no claim of PM endorsing the product. They haven’t even used the Digital India logo in the ad,” Ajita Patki, a Pune based lawyer specializing in Intellectual Property Rights said.

“It is similar to some health drink brand putting up huge poster of an Olympic medal winner congratulating them or dedicating their product to them. If you remember, many companies had used Sachin Tendulkar’s image under garb of giving him a farewell when he announced retirement from test cricket. Tendulkar was not brand ambassador of each of those companies, and I don’t think Tendulkar sued anyone for ‘unauthorized’ use of his image,” she explained.

So it appears that Reliance is practically safe in the latest case. And it’s good news for them given that only a couple of weeks back the government of India had slapped additional penalty of Rs. 2500 crore on them.


Share This Post and Support:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Most read articles recently

Nehru Gandhi family celebrates birthday in aeroplane

A Pulitzer Prize winning report on Priyanka Gandhi’s aeroplane trip by Mausambi Singh

Priyanka Gandhi took an IndiGo flight from Delhi to Lucknow, and it was a flight to remember.
Christian Michel documents: Rafale delayed because of Eurofighter lobbying and Sweden's Bofors 'leverage' over Gandhis?

Christian Michel documents: Rafale delayed because of Eurofighter lobbying and Sweden’s Bofors ‘leverage’ over Gandhis?

These documents that point towards the Gandhi family are secret notes about Eurofighter lobbying faxed by Christian Michel to Guido Haschke. 

Anti-BJP accounts on social media, including Huffpost, Scroll journalist, celebrate death of Manohar Parrikar

As the sad news of passing away of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar came in, social media was filled with condolence messages from people in every spectre of life, from politicians to celebrities to ordinary netizens, irrespective of their political affiliation. Manohar Parrikar was known for his simplicity and...

More than 70 vessels including INS Vikramaditya, nuclear submarines, battleships were deployed near Pakistan after Pulwama Attack: Indian Navy

Carrier Battle Group led by INS Vikramaditya, nuclear submarines and other battleships of Indian Navy were at the North Arabian Sea after the Pulwama attack
When Manohar Parrikar found $3 billion of our money lying forgotten in a US account

When Manohar Parrikar found $3 billion of our money lying forgotten in a US account

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had revealed that he had found $3 billion (or Rs 20,000 crore) of Govt of India money lying forgotten in a US account.

India Today uses the photo of a Hindu girl to highlight the high rate of child marriage among Muslims in Kerala

Recently a detergent brand was highly criticised by people for releasing a Hinduphobic advertisement targeting the festival of Holi.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra: How Congress’ ‘masterstroke’ may have just been a damp squib

The first 50 days of her official induction in Congress have been quite disappointing to say the least
Sharad pawar claims the IAF conducted air strikes on his suggestion

The man who concocted a bomb blast for secularism claims the Balakot air strikes were done on his suggestion

Sharad Pawar said that PM Modi and Defence Minister were absent in the meeting in which he advised the security officials to take down the terror hideouts

Bhim Army pours scorn on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Priyanka Gandhi apparently is proving a disaster as Congress general secretary in-charge for east Uttar Pradesh
PM Modi continues his Main Bhi Chowkidar campaign on Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi changes his Twitter name after many supporters started the trend

In continuation with his 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign, PM Modi changes his Twitter display name by prefixing 'Chowkidar' to it

Latest articles

Connect with us

146,928FansLike
118,548FollowersFollow
29,382SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these


Share This Post and Support: