First-instance court
Federal Court of Appeals in Civil and Commercial Matters

On 16 July 2021, the Federal Court of Appeals in Civil and Commercial Matters rejected a claim seeking damages for the use of an individual's image in a company's promotional video.


The defendant, Taraborelli Automobile SA, a local car dealer, produced a promotional video aimed at showing customers aspects of daily work at the company. The plaintiff, a former employee of the defendant, voluntarily participated in the video. After the plaintiff's resignation in 2017, the company continued to publicise the video.

Consequently, the plaintiff initiated a court action, requesting:

  • the immediate cessation of the use of her image; and
  • compensation for the unauthorised and improper publication of her image through social media.

The plaintiff argued that she had never authorised the public use of her image. She also claimed that she had been personally affected by the publication of the video as she was working for a competitor at the time.

The defendant alleged that all of its employees had been invited to participate in two promotional videos to be used within the company and published on social media, and that the plaintiff had voluntarily accepted this proposal. Further, the company stated that the employees had been properly informed that the videos would be used both internally and publicly. Additionally, Taraborelli Automobile mentioned that it had immediately removed the videos from social media as soon as it had become aware of the plaintiff's claim.

First-instance court

The first-instance court dismissed the complaint on the grounds that the plaintiff had consented to the use of her image. The decision was appealed by the plaintiff.

Federal Court of Appeals in Civil and Commercial Matters

The Federal Court of Appeals in Civil and Commercial Matters rejected the appeal and confirmed the first-instance court's decision on the basis of the following arguments:

  • Recording a person's image is illegal unless their explicit consent is obtained or an exception to the consent rules applies to the case.
  • The authorisation to obtain a person's image does not necessarily constitute an authorisation to reproduce such image. These are two different actions that require separate consent.
  • The consent cannot be assumed; it must be construed restrictively and it is revocable.
  • There is no rule that provides that consent must be given in writing; authorisation can be given in writing, verbally and/or by other reliable means.

With regard to this case, the Court held the following:

  • The evidence showed that the plaintiff had given her consent to participate in the company's videos.
  • The plaintiff had known that the video would be displayed on the company's premises as well as on social media.
  • The plaintiff's request to cease the use of her image when instituting the claim constituted her wish to revoke her consent. Thus, the company's decision to stop using the video complied with the law. If the company had continued displaying the video, this would have caused damages to be compensated.

For further information on this topic please contact Mariano Peruzzotti or Valentina Gonzalez Medina at Ojam Bullrich Flanzbaum by telephone +54 11 4549 4900 or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Ojam Bullrich Flanzbaum website can be accessed at www.ojambf.com.