09 July, 2008

Here's How it Went Down..

Thanks for all the advise and comments! It's god to know I'm not completely crazy (or that we are all perhaps crazy together???) and had some great support and feedback in this matter. Anyway, the store owner finally called me back this evening and here's how it went down...

ME: HI! I don’t know if you received the email I sent to you about 4-5 hours ago, but I have a friend who lives in the area near your store who receives your promotional emails. Imagine her surprise when she received your current 10% off coupon and on your advertisement was a photo of my of my children and I happen to live out of state and have never been in your store.

SO (store owner): Umm, what photo are you talking about? What ad are you talking about?

ME: The current 10% coupon that was just emailed to your customers this morning.

SO: OHHH. That picture?

ME: Yes. THAT picture happens to be a personal photo of mine of my children that I took. Would you please tell me how and where you found that photo?

SO: Umm, I'm not really sure. I can’t remember. Maybe the internet? I don’t actually know…

ME: Well, as a business owner, you should know better. You should also know that you can not print any photo of any child under the age of 18 without the written consent of that child’s parent or guardian. In fact you can’t use any photo PERIOD, without giving credit to the photographer or source, or providing compensation as well.

SO: I just thought it was anonymous.

ME: ANONYMOUS? Uh, are you a mother by any chance?

SO: Yes. Yes I am.

ME: Then you should know that NO CHILD is anonymous.

I mean, I realize it is just a picture of their backs, but you should consider if that was a personal photo of yours of your children that ended up on an advertisement and how that would make you feel. As a mother my most important job is to protect my children and all of their interests. And now I have to wonder what other photo’s of my children are accessible and floating around that I don’t know about.

SO: You’re right. I don’t know what I was thinking. I should have known better. This is a big lesson for me, too. I just thought it was anonymous and wasn’t really anybody

ME: Again, they are not anonymous; they are my children.

Have you used this photo for anything else at all? In any other ad’s???

SO: No. Only this one…In the future I will make sure I’m really careful. I am so sorry it will never happen again.

ME: Great. I am happy to hear that. If you would please remove the photo and not use it for anything in the future, I would appreciate it. Maybe it would be a good idea for you to use your own children for your advertising needs.

SO: You’re right. What was I thinking? This has been a big lesson for me.

ME: Okay well I’m happy to hear that. Just be careful going forward because someone else might not have been as nice as me and would suing you for using a photo of their very minor children.

SO: You’re right. I’m sorry. Thank you for calling. I won’t use it again.

ME: Thanks; Take care.

So ladies, that's all she wrote. I could tell by the sound of her voice she felt badly and didn't do it on purpose, so I didn't want to ask for compesation or scare her with lawyer talk. But she needed to know she was VERY wrong and I could tell on the phone she was scared and learned her lesson. Now, i think it's time for this mom to take off her cape for the day and settle in the for an (hopefully) uneventfull evening at home with the mini's.

21 Comments:

Kappa Prep said...

So glad this issue was solved. It is sometimes better to just be nice from the start (as you were) and no bridges will be burned. I am glad you all came to an understanding and that the store owner admitted to her mistake.

maggi said...

Hope it works out! Sounds like it should.

Suz said...

I'm glad you got the result you wanted. Great that she was so prompt with returning your call. I'm curious though, if a photo is found on the internet does it not become public property? I'm not sure that it is required that credit be given especially if it was found through an image search. And re: parents needing to give approval of their children's photographs being used - what about crowd shots? or shots where they are un-identifiable?

Southern Fried Girl said...

Well I'm glad she realized the error of her ways, but yes, she should have known better. WTF?

J said...

Sounds like the best possible result. It is so random that you found out about it!

Monogram Momma said...

J: I know, right? What are the chances?!

lisagh said...

Thank goodness that was resolved. You handled yourself with grace and poise while sticking to your principles! Bravo to you.

Candids by Courtney said...

That was awesome! Good for you! You handled yourself very professionally. You should be proud!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

That's great that she feels bad but I am shocked that she didn't fall over herself to compensate you in some way (giftbasket, whatever). Not that you need it but I am just surprised that she would leave it at an apology. Maybe she was just in shock at realizing how wrong she was to use a picture of children like that? So scary- but glad that it was their backs and glad that you feel better about the ordeal.

Lauren said...

How do you think she found the photo? Was it on a photographer's website, or was it a photo you had taken with your camera?

This is a crazy chain of events! Your friend happened to move, she happened to subscribe to these emails, and then your kids picture happened to be floating around cyberspace.

KK said...

I'm so glad this was resolved! You handled yourself very well.

Amber Lee said...

Why did you keep driving it into the ground after she apologized the first time? One sorry is enough, I would think.

SBCVandy said...

I think you handled it amazingly well and with grace and dignity. I have a feeling I wouldn't have been as calm. I hope she realizes how important it is now to be careful with what she uses since she could have easily heard from a lawyer rather than a rational person. :-D

TCP said...

So glad that she was reasonable! And you were awfully nice to her. (Although I do love that you mentioned getting sued. Sometimes the dormant lawyer in me likes to see a little of that!)

Head Hen said...

Wow! So proud of you. That's a part of the Internet that scares the poo out of me. You obviously try to so hard to remain *unidentified* and then to have something like this happen...

Well done, You.

On behalf of Mothers everywhere today, THANK YOU.

Candace said...

Amber Lee is CLEARLY not a mother. I can't imagine what I would have said!!

Monogram Momma said...

HAHAH. Thank you, ladies! You are so terrific!

White Lily said...

I'm not a mother (ok, I have a furry kid) but I totally understand you. I admire your self control actually. I would be in a rage black out, go to her shop and trash it if I were you.

Ppl have used pictures of my dog (he is a cutie) but ALWAYS asked my permission before that.

I'm glad this was resolved.. What was she thinking?

White Lily said...

Sorry for flooding your comments area, but have you thought of adding watermarks with a logo or something on the pics you publish?

Kristin said...

Wow! I have to de-lurk for this! As a mother I cannot imagine this happening; the business owner should have known better! I applaud you for handling it the way you did; I hope I would have been as forgiving.

alexandra said...

Wow, you were alot calmer than I would have been. And I'm with pp that wonders why she didn't attempt to compensate you for your trouble. I would have been falling over myself trying to make it up to you if I had done something that stupid.