Britain's Sir Roger Bannister, the runner who crashed the four-minute-mile barrier in 1954, wants some things kept private. One is the picture of his moment of glory: "I don't want the photo used for commercial purposes," he says. Another is his name.
Imagine his consternation upon seeing both used to promote Airbus Industrie in BUSINESS WEEK, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. He protested, with considerable legal grounds: Using public figures in ads without prior consent is customary in Britain but illegal in the U.S.
Airbus and its ad agencies agreed to make a "substantial" donation to Bannister's favorite charity. And they're placing an apology in some publications where the ad appeared. "A mistake has been made, but it's been acknowledged and corrected to everyone's satisfaction," says David Swanston, of Stackig Advertising & Public Relations,which placed the ad in the U.S. Airbus and Osprey Park, the agency that created the ad, won't comment.