Rabbi Kaplun Elyashiv, a member of Hasidic movement Chabad, discovered one day that he is the star of a Landwer advertisement. He says it happened in 2010 while he was talking with friends and suddenly saw his picture on the café chain’s website.
A NIS 1 million ($290,000) lawsuit he filed with the Central Magistrate’s Court reveals that his picture was allegedly posted on Landwer’s website in order to promote its strictly kosher products.
His image appeared on a page dedicated to kashrut on Landwer’s website alongside captions reading, “Strictly kosher” and “Badatz kashrut”, and the sentence: “The company ascribes great importance to the issues of religion and kashrut.”
According to the statement of claim, “The company thus created a misrepresentation of the plaintiff, who is allegedly granting Landwer a kashrut certificate. The plaintiff has become a character in an advertisement against his will.
”It should be stressed that the plaintiff is an active rabbi and one of the senior members of the Chabad Zionist movement, and therefore this damages the profession, name and reputation he has gained over the years. This is a failure on the part of the company, which used the plaintiff’s picture illegally.“
Rabbi Elyashiv is described in the statement of claim as ”an ultra-Orthodox man, a prominent figure in the haredi community with a senior position in the world of Torah, who did not permit the commercial use of his name.“
On Facebook page too?
The plaintiff charges that he served as a kosher affairs model, although he says he never agreed to it, was never informed about it and did not receive anything in return.
He says he sent Landwer a letter on January 1, 2011, instructing the café chain to remove his picture immediately from the company website and from its Facebook page.
Since that day, he claims, Landwer did not stop using his image and ”didn’t even bother responding“, according to the statement of claim.
He says Landwer ”used his picture illegally, and even posted it on the website’s homepage and on the company’s private Facebook page, without negotiating with him, without asking for his approval and without paying him anything in return.“
The Landwer café chain said in response: ”Rabbi Kaplun Elyashiv’s appeal arrived at our office for the first time today and is being looked into.”