On Wednesday, August 18, World marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge threatened to sue FunX Radio 91.3FM, NRG Radio 97.1FM and Choice Radio 87.7FM over the unauthorized use of his images and name in a commercial advertisement.
The companies had used his images and name before and after the INEOS1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria where he completed the marathon in under two hours last week on Saturday.
But now the 34-year-old Olympic champion, who set the world record of 2:01.39 at the Berlin marathon last September, through KTK advocates is accusing the companies of illegally using his photos to promote their brands.
“We have been retained by Eliud Kipchoge, our client to write to you that you issued a press release indicating your said intention to appropriate our client’s name and images on your various FunX Radio 91.3FM, NRG Radio 97.1FM and Choice Radio 87.7FM” KTK advocates said in the statement.
In the document, Kipchoge is also accusing the companies of changing their social media account’s name to Kipchoge.Radio and [email protected], suggesting that he had endorsed their brands.
“That without his permission, authority or licence, or any colour of right, you changed the name of your station topline on your social media pages and online blogs to Kipchoge.Radio and [email protected],” added the statement.
The document also claim that he feels the ads were never meant to cheer him but to promote their brands by fraudulently informing their listeners and followers that they can win a car.
“That without our client’s permission, authority or licence or any other colour of right, you frequently informed your listeners and followers that by following your Instagram page, you will gift our client a car. Our client never asked for and doesn’t require any gifting of your car of any other car , “said the statement
KTK advocates also claim that the action taken by NRG Radio contravened their client rights.
“That the use of our client’s name, image and reputation was in total and blatant violations of his brand rights, privacy, copyright and trade mark rights. These rights are in personam and can only be transferred with our client’s permission.”
Specifying the demands, Kipchoge instructed the media companies to pay him damages resulting from the use of his images and names.
“On receipt of the above action and response, we shall enter into a discussion on the quantum payable for the aforesaid egregious violations “read the statement
“That if we do not receive your action and response within (2) hours of us emailing you this letter and also by posting us on the undersigned twitter timeline, we will proceed appropriately to enforce our client’s rights. that your action violates the Communication law of Kenya, and also attract criminal liability.”