Virgin puts unauthorized picture in brochure… photographers says “They should know better.”

virginbrochureAlan McDermott is a photographer who captured a piece of Dublin graffiti and posted it to his Flickr account. He called it “Heart Balloon Girl – ‘Bansky'” as it resembled ones that have been reproduced thousands of times (just search Google and you’ll see).

Virgin Mobile has always been on the cutting edge when it comes to their advertising and even their marketing efforts. They recently re-branded their homepage and we’ll expect a full re-design within the coming months. So what’s the story behind this photo? Well, Virgin Mobile Canada has taken his pic without his consent and even gone to lengths to crop and colour without giving him royalties or credit. The picture has been placed in a new brochure for their latest Canadian ad campaign.

McDermott said “Virgin is a multibillion-dollar company. They should know better. It’s not an accidental mistake, it’s outright theft”. In response to this news Virgin Mobile Canada spokesperson Chris Baines said the image was included in a small quantity of booklets for the media to explain our campaign. “The image was taken from Flickr. We do apologize and will be in touch with (the photographer).”

McDermott is requesting to be paid for his photo… a total of $1,000 (U.S.). Small price to pay for the PR it could create. More here at The Star