By Raheem Akingbolu
A Nigerian model, Emmanuel Alakpa, who appeared on the communication materials of the Legend Real Deal Promo, has dragged Nigerian Breweries and Insight Communications to court for using his photograph for the build-up campaign of the promo without his consent. According to his lawyer, Felix Ogunmade of Felix Ogunmade & Co, the image was used for six weeks without the consent of the model.
Mr. Alakpa through the counsel is asking for N300million for damages. He is also praying the court to compel Nigerian Breweries to pay the sum of N100million being remuneration for the commercial exploitation of the claimant’s photographic image towards increasing the company’s business’ turnover and profits in the Legend Real Deal Promotion.
In the second claim, the lawyer asks Insight Communications to pay the sum of N100million as exemplary damages for deceit perpetrated on the claimant and another N100million to be paid by the agency and Nigerian Breweries as damage for the psychological and emotional trauma which, they, by their infamous acts, perpetrated against the claimant.
Alakpa told THISDAY that he was made to go through strenuous screening process, which climaxed in the photo session at Votiso Lenses along Adeniyi Jones only to be informed that he was not chosen for the job. He explained that the decision did not bother him because he knew some opportunities would come but what angered him was when he received call from a close friend that he was actually the face of the Legend Real Deal promotion.
“When I got to airport road on May 2, 2012 where the first poster of the campaign was hoisted, I was amazed. I called my agent to know if any of the three finalists was used for the job but he denied. My agent is Robert, the Managing Director of Bert Model.”
Alakpa, however, said efforts to get Insight Communications and Bert Model to explain the rationale behind the campaign without his consent were rebuffed. He stated that the agent later told him that contract papers would be signed after his lawyer stepped in. The model further stated that he reminded the agent of his initial stand that he was not qualified.
Speaking on the issue, counsel to Alakpa, Ogunmade, admitted that the model was indeed invited at a point by Insight Communications to participate in a screening process that would lead to the choice of the model that would feature in Legend Extra Stout campaign but was informed after the screening process that he failed in the exercise.
Having run the same campaign for 6 weeks, Ogunmade said: “At that time, the advertisements were being run nearly on a daily basis in newspapers apart from the fact that it was all over the place so the only thing we could do was to run to court to get an order of injunction to stop them from using the photograph in subsequent advertisement. We initially got an exparte motion and later we got interlogatory restraining orders.
By that, they have been fully restrained from using that photograph until the matter has been finally resolved one way or the other. So I have not been seeing it in newspapers again. But they had run it for more than 6 weeks.” On the damages meted out to his client, Ogunmade maintained that “Our client is claiming monetary sum up to about N300million in different forms of damages. The damage in terms of deceit by Insight Communications, damage in the sense that his image has been exploited commercially by Nigerian Breweries and damage in the sense of psychological and emotional trauma inflicted on him. So based on those three counts we claim N100million each.”
When contacted, Insight Communications, through its Marketing & Strategic Manager, Franklin Ozekhome, declined comments, saying the matter is already in court and that his comments could affect the judgment especially if his position stands in favour of his agency.