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Office of the President reveals guidelines for use of Weekes’ image without permission

“The Office of the President therefore advises members of the public—inclusive of advertisers, promoters, event organisers, publishers, broadcasters, practitioners and users of traditional and digital media, and all others whose functions may come into contact with the Office and/or person of the President—to refrain from use of the President’s image, name, live activity or non-public material, said use being in any media format inclusive of live-streaming, without official written permission of the President, either directly from the President or through the authorised personnel of The Office of the President…”

The following press statement was issued by Corporate Communications manager at the Office of the President, Cheryl Lala:

Photo: President Paula-Mae Weekes addresses the nation on the occasion of her swearing-in on Monday 17 March, 2018.
(Courtesy Office of the President)

It has come to the attention of The Office of the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago that images, photographic and otherwise representative of the President Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes ORTT, are being used in advertisements and/or promotional material without the necessary approval.

This practice is unacceptable.

The time-honoured norm is that both the Office and the person of the President must be at all times beyond the pale of partisanship, sponsorship and endorsement. At no time should the Office or person of the President be used, represented, invoked, or referenced in any way likely to lead to any form or instance of compromise, misunderstanding, or assumption regarding the Office or person of the President.

The Office of the President therefore advises members of the public—inclusive of advertisers, promoters, event organisers, publishers, broadcasters, practitioners and users of traditional and digital media, and all others whose functions may come into contact with the Office and/or person of the President—to refrain from use of the President’s image, name, live activity or non-public material, said use being in any media format inclusive of live-streaming, without official written permission of the President, either directly from the President or through the authorised personnel of The Office of the President.

This requirement for permission extends to approval being sought to reference the President in any promotional material for an activity/event whether or not Her Excellency is Patron of or Guest at the activity/event.

Photo: President Paula-Mae Weekes (right) sits with students from her alma mater, Bishop Anstey High School (POS) at her inauguration ceremony on 19 March 2018.
(Courtesy Office of the President)

Permission to use the President’s image, name, live appearances or non-public material should be sought by communicating in writing via postal services or email to The Office of the President at cheryl.lala@otp.gov.tt, said request to include all information pertinent to the occasion for which usage is being considered, given in sufficient detail so as to guide the official decision.

Usage of said material should follow only after the applicant has received written approval, signed by the designated authorised representative of The Office of the President.

Permission is not required for the normal journalistic coverage of the President’s official activities. There is the expectation however, that such coverage will be in accordance with established professional standards and best practices.

The Office of the President appreciates your co-operation in this matter.

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