The Telangana government has ordered an inquiry against two publicity agencies after a woman and her daughter were featured in newspaper advertisements of two state government’s schemes despite their not being a beneficiary of either. Moreover, while in one ad, the woman and her daughter are seen standing beside her husband, showing them to be a happy beneficiary family, the other shows the woman beside another man. The advertisements were for Kanti Velugu (free eye check-up) and Rythu Bheema (crop insurance) schemes.
According to a preliminary internal investigation, in December 2013, when the woman and her husband posed for a photographer representing Mash Audio Visuals Pvt Ltd, they had given a signed authorisation that their photos can be used for advertising. Mash Audio Visuals Pvt Ltd owns imagesbazaar.com, from which the agencies procured the photos. Nayakula Nagaraju and wife Padma said the photo of her and their daughter beside another man had left them embarassed. “Another man is shown as husband standing beside my wife and daughter in the advertisement depicting them as a happy family. I have become a laughing stock in my village,’’ Nagaraju said.
The couple from near Kodad have submitted a representation to the Telangana Congress working president and local MLA B Vikramarka Mallu.
Information and Public Relations commissioner Arvind Kumar said an inquiry is on to ascertain if the photos were wrongly used by the agencies M/S Livewires and Tempest.
Sources in the department said preliminary investigation revealed that the agencies procured the photos from imagesbazaar.com. “The department has issued notices to the agencies asking them if they have authorisation to use the photos as they pleased. We will take appropriate action if they have erred,’’ an official said.