Question by rwkelland: What are the legalities of advertising features in newspapers?
My brother was recently interviewed for what he beleived to be a genuine newspaper article written by a freelance writer – but it turned out to be an advertising feature. A picture of my brother was also included in the ‘article.’
What the reporter did was definately sneaky and misleading – but was it illeagal?
Answer by Joel A
As you say, it was sneaky and misleading, but those aren’t a crime.
Your brother might be able to sue, however, if he didn’t sign a release form for the photo. If it were a genuine news article, the publication could claim that using your brother’s picture was part of the news and thus protected speech. But there’s no right for a publication to use his picture just to make money.
What do you think? Answer below!