This Is How An Author’s Photos Were Used For Ads Globally Without Her Knowledge!

2:33 pm 30 Jul, 2018


At times, a few known faces appear on the biggest of ad campaigns and at the same time, these advertising agencies also give a chance to the lesser known individuals to be a part of major ad campaigns. Most of the times, these unknown individuals go gaga about their face becoming the trademark of the brand, however, there are a hundred thousand ads running in the world, where the individuals remain unaware of their identity being used! Do you know that many ad agencies use people’s images without even taking their permission? Imagine yourself becoming the face of the brand which you could have never even imagined about!

But that’s true, as there are individuals whose pictures get used for random ads. The same was highlighted by a South African author recently, who posted her account of how her pictures were misused!



Shubnum Khan highlighted how during her college days she unknowingly gave a photographer, the rights to her photos. Little did she knew that her pictures will be used as stock photos across the world for campaigns and advertisements and even testimonials!



Almost 6 years back, Shubnum Khan discovered about it when randomly one of her images appeared on a Canadian newspaper promoting immigration rights.



She was shocked to see her picture, though believed that it could be just a matter of time and would never happen again. However, it didn’t stop there. Over the years, her pictures keep appearing on billboards, newspapers and magazines across China to America, without her knowledge. Not only this, most of the times, her identity, nationality, and profession were also changed according to the countries in which the advertisements appeared.




She even contacted the photographer and asked him to withdraw the pictures! However, he stated that it was all done in a legal way and was not unethical.

“I can also take on new identities. The most shocking of these are adverts to teach & care for kids – so who is actually with the kids? When I asked the photographer about this, he says I signed away rights to ‘distortion of character including false names’,” she added on Twitter.










However, after much debate, Shubnum was able to convince him to take down the photographs from his website. However, he warned her that her images might be used again if someone had already bought them.





Shubnum shared her experience online so that others remain aware of what could possibly happen to their pictures.




As soon as Shubnum’s tweets appeared online, her story became viral and this is how people have been reacting to it!



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