THE IMAGE of President Paula-Mae Weekes has been used in calendars and corporate advertisements without her permission, reported communications advisor to the president Cheryl Lala.
She told Newsday in a telephone interview the issue came up several times and has been dealt with on an individual basis. She recalled the President's image has also been used without permission in calendars (representing a month), press ads and also live streaming at events in which she attended but without her knowledge.
The issue was addressed in a full-page ad published in local newspapers entitled "guidelines on the use of the President's image."
"It has come to the attention of The Office of the President of the Republic of TT that images, photographic and otherwise representative of the President Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes ORTT, are being used in advertisements and/or promotional material without the necessary approval. This practice is unacceptable."
The ad continued: "The time-honoured norm is that both the Office and the person of the President must be at all times beyond the pale of partisanship, sponsorship and endorsement. At no time should the Office or person of the President be used, represented, invoked, or referenced in any way likely to lead to any form or instance of compromise, misunderstanding, or assumption regarding the Office or person of the President."
The Office of the President, therefore, advises members of the public—inclusive of advertisers, promoters, event organisers, publishers, broadcasters, practitioners and users of traditional and digital media, and all others whose functions may come into contact with the Office and/or person of the President—to refrain from use of the President’s image, name, live activity or non-public material, said use being in any media format inclusive of live streaming, without official written permission of the President, either directly from the President or through the authorised personnel of The Office of the President.
"This requirement for permission extends to approval being sought to reference the President in any promotional material for an activity/event whether or not Her Excellency is patron of or guest at the activity/event."