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Unilever’s Fraudulent Promo Use My Daughters Picture — Fouad

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Exactly 5 months down the line and we have had no resolution from Unilever, regarding the use of my daughter’s picture and change of name for a fraudulent promo. Even though I thought we were making progress following discussions, I obviously was TOTALLY WRONG!!!

The last meeting we held with their representatives from Lagos ended with them waiting on me to take a decision.

After consultations with family members, friends and associates, I did take a decision and sent an email to my lawyer to forward to them.

Below is the email sent on March 2nd, 2018, which is very self-explanatory.

“Good day Barrister,

Trust you are doing fine.

As a follow up to our agreement with the “representatives” of Unilever Nigeria PLC, I have concluded meetings with family members and associates. Our points are as follows:

  1. On November 3rd, 2017 the picture of our daughter was branded, her name illegally changed and posted on the Facebook page of Pears Nigeria.

This singular ILLEGAL act has brought my family so much unwanted exposure, embarrassment and trauma as you already aware.

  1. On November 15th, 2017, we wrote them a letter requesting them to respond within 7 days.

They totally and blatantly ignored us and only called weeks later, which was on the same day that I had narrated my story on social media.

As a follow up, we received their response dated December 18th, 2017, which came as a bigger insult.

Their response, insensitive and impenitent as it was, now turned the whole table around and tried to make my family seem as the culprits.

Whoever wrote that letter on their behalf totally ignored the fact Unilever Nigeria PLC, makers of Pears Baby products, were the ones who had wronged us.

  1. On January 11th, 2018, we were visited by 2 gentlemen, the CEO of the company that runs online promos for Unilever Nigeria PLC and a partner lawyer to Unilever Nigeria PLC, who were supposed “representatives” of Unilever Nigeria PLC.

After, finally having the decency and appropriacy of sending these gentlemen to sit and talk with us, as should have been done from the very beginning, we decided to use a compassionate mind to accept their explanation and apology BUT grant them some time to go back and discuss with the company on our demands regarding being compensated for the damages that had been caused.

  1. On March 1st, 2018, we were then visited again by these 2 gentlemen.

At this meeting, we were made to understand that because of an indemnity clause in the contract between Unilever Nigeria PLC and advertising firm, which does not in any way concern me or my family, Unilever Nigeria PLC had exonerated themselves and pushed the whole burden of this blunder onto the advertising firm.

Based on this very notable fact, we were then pleaded with to accept an offer of N1m (one million) Naira as compensation for damages.

This as you are very aware, is not even up to 1% of our demand.

Regardless of the percentage value of offer to demand and aside the fact that the expenses we have already incurred have greatly exceeded N5m, if we also put into consideration the foreign expenses so far made, our daughter and the damages they have caused her, and our entire household is worth far more than N1m.

Based on these 4 VERY IMPORTANT points stated above, we have decided as follows:

  1. Even though an apology from one Mrs. Anjorin, the supposed person who submitted our daughter’s picture without our consent, has been published on various social media pages belonging to Pears Nigeria, we will still require an official apology letter from Unilever Nigeria PLC directly to us to be posted on same platforms.
  2. Putting into considerations the developments we were informed of between Unilever Nigeria PLC and the advertising firm and the pleadings of 2 gentlemen that came to meet with us, we have decided to reduce our demand from the initial amount of xxx to xxx.

Yes, it is a fact that no amount whatsoever can fix and/or repair the damages caused, but if any amount is to be settled let it be something worth settling.

As you already know being my lawyer, I am not a desperate person and not out to make any form of profit using any member of my family, BUT I stand for justice.

You are also very aware that we have similar cases with other companies and settlement attempts they have made, which were far more than N1m that we refused.

I do admit, I am quite saddened by the way Unilever Nigeria PLC has shoved the whole burden to the advertising firm as explained by the CEO, but I would rather no member of my family nor myself interfere in the contracts and business between 2 establishments.

Even though we are deeply sorry for any setbacks this will cause the advertising firm, but it is extremely important to remember that we have been the victims and nobody else. And as far as we are concerned, our issue is with Unilever Nigeria PLC and nobody else.

You can go ahead an inform them of our decisions as we are going to patiently wait till the end of March 2018 for this issue to be COMPLETELY concluded. We sincerely hope it does not stretch any further than it already has.

Thank you.

Fouad Aouad [End]

Even though this is a direct quote of the email I sent to my lawyer, I have removed the old and new demand amount, but I assure you a substantial amount was deducted based on the circumstances.

I have also removed the names of the 2 gentlemen who were representatives as I do not at this time have any personal issues with either of them.

But, up until now, we have not received any response and quite frankly, I have ran out patience.

While my lawyer is filing a suit against #unilevernigeria, I want this story to go round on social media, online news medias, print medias, etc.

I don’t think we need to remind #unilevernigeria that if this crap was done in the US or UK, they would have had it settled a long time ago.

So is it safe to say that they assume we don’t know our rights in Nigeria?

As I stated in my email to my lawyer, I am not interested in any business between 2 establishments. All I know is

  • #pearsnigeria a brand of #unilevernigeria;
  • Used my daughter’s picture and changed her name WITHOUT my consent or that of my wife, who happen to be her parents and legal guardians.
  • Used my daughter’s picture for an online promotion. In marketing, promotion refers to any type of marketing communication used to inform or persuade target audiences of the relative merits of a product, service, brand or issue. The aim of promotion is to increase awareness, create interest, generate sales or create brand loyalty. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promotion_(marketing)
  • Exposed my daughter and entire family publicly thereby invading on our privacy.
  • Ran a fake and fraudaulent promo by lifting a picture of my daughter from my wife’s Instagram page and changing her name so we would not be able to trace it.

Like I have said earlier ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! I want this to go as far as possible until justice is served.

Kindly rebroadcast tagging them, their international offices and their products on every social media platform and please link up any online news or blog sites that you may know.

In the meantime, I will also be contacting some big print media and TV houses in and out of Nigeria.

I am a husband and a father and will do whatever it takes to always protect my family.


Submitted by Michael Ukanga Ekpo

See the attached documents:

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