A Croatian English language School came under the First Lady Melania Trump’s radar after they used her image on two advertisement billboards stating “just imagine how far you can go with a little bit of English” next to Ms. Trump’s image in front of a microphone and the fluttering American Flag serving as the background.
The Croatian Capital, Zagreb saw two billboards removed after a threat to sue came from Slovenian lawyer, Natasa Pirc-Musar. These billboards were an advertisement from an English speaking school, Americki Institut in Zagreb.
It is Not Even Their First Stunt
And this is not the first time that the school has used Trump family images for attracting the audience. On their Facebook page, you’ll find images of Trump family and administration to illustrate the meaning of words in their “word of the day” facebook posts.
Judicial Practice in Slovenia
According to the Judicial practice in Slovenia, the native country of the First lady, Ms. Melania Trump, it is quite clear that you cannot use the name, surname or image of any person for commercial purposes without their permission.
Not the First Incident to Cash in With The First Lady’s Likeness
Ever since the presidential election, Slovenian companies have continued to use Ms. Trump’s likeness with her name and image on their products and services like honey, cakes, tourism packages.
She has hired the services of Slovenian advocate, Pirc-Musar to save face and her name from being used or mentioned on any product or advertisement in Slovenia.
“I’m satisfied with the fact that the school admitted that they violated the law and that they are ready to remove the billboards and (Facebook) ads.”, says Natasa, Attorney for Ms. Trump.
However, she also mentioned that the school’s advertisement methods have “grossly violated” the law and she is still analyzing possible legal actions.
The First lady was born in Slovenia and came to France for modeling in her 20s. From thereon, she came to U.S. to pursue her modeling career and became the U.S. citizen in 2006. Being multilingual, she can speak French, German, Slovenian, Italian and English.
The Short-Lived ads Were Very Successful – School’s Spokesperson
While the ads were taken down, the spokesperson has admitted that they were able to garner a lot of attraction both locally and internationally. As it started trending on social media and Reddit, the post has created huge publicity for the school.
However, they feel they didn’t see the legal threat coming. Talking on the matter, the school spokesperson said how they wanted to praise the First lady for her success. They were aiming to showcase her as a role model and preach how far knowledge can take you.
“We are very sorry that the billboards were misunderstood as something intended to mock the U.S. first lady. It was meant to be something positive, to show her as a role model.”, says Ivis Buric (Spokesperson for the school).
Despite the apology, the school maintains how the “successful ads” weren’t a mockery of the First Lady. But rather, a strong appreciation for the native Slovenian and her current stature in the strongest economy in the world, United States.