Court bars agency from using graduate's image in advertising

Case to be mentioned in October for further directions.

In Summary
  • The Court issued the order after the graduate said the actions by the agency had caused her public ridicule. 
  • The agency has seven days to respond to the case filed by Yvonne Maina. 
Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi at Milimani court on Friday, June 22. /FILE
Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi at Milimani court on Friday, June 22. /FILE

A Public Relations Graduate on Monday got a reprieve after the High Court stopped a recruitment agency from using her image while advertising for housemaid jobs in the Gulf.

High Court Judge Lawrence Mugambi certified the matter filed by Yvonne Maina as urgent and directed it be heard on a priority basis.

“Pending the hearing and determination of this application, an interim order is hereby issued restraining Talent Quest Africa, their agents, or people working under their instruction from publishing, producing, and circulating Maina’s data or image on their website or their social media handles,” said the Judge.

He directed the application be served to the Agency within seven days and responses be filed and served within the same period from the date of service.

The case will be mentioned on 23 October to confirm compliance and for further directions.

Maina filed the case on Monday saying the use of her pictures by the company has resulted in people assuming that she was or is working as a house girl in partnership with the company as its Brand Ambassador which is not the case.

This she says has subjected her to ridicule as she is seen as a desperate graduate who has resulted in working as a house girl.

“This has put me to shame before my peers, schoolmates, and society at large,” she said.

In her court papers, Yvonne says she is a graduate of the University of Nairobi. She graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Media Studies (Public Relations)

She explains that on diverse dates, the company or people working under their instructions published her photos on their website advertising housemaids' jobs in the Gulf.

The commercial advertisements and use of her images were done without her consent, she said.

“The main motive of using the photograph was to give the agency online/ international visibility which would in turn yield more profits in terms of the many applicants who were being targeted,” she argued.

She says despite demand, they have refused to pull down the said images, apologise, or even compensate her for using her image.

“So many people who viewed me in the adverts were shocked and concerned that I was doing adverts for the house-girl job,” she said.

The publication of her photos in advertisement posts for house girls is an intrusion on her dignity and a downgrading of her status as a graduate of the prestigious University of Nairobi.

She says the continuous use of her image in the commercial advertisements for house girls continues to threaten her social standing among her colleagues, family members and friends who know her as a graduate.

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