Billboards displaying an image of Melania Trump with a slogan on learning English have been taken down in Croatia after the threat of a lawsuit.
The Slovenian lawyer for the First Lady demanded the billboards, which featured her standing before an American flag, be taken down immediately, according to News4 San Antonio.
The private English language school in Zagreb complied and the billboards were removed Tuesday.
Wow. This billboard of @FLOTUS is outside the American Institute in Zagreb, Croatia. pic.twitter.com/iU5cgeb7Lt
— Kaitlyn In China (@kkaitlynreedd) September 15, 2017
The school’s apparent attempt at humor was not shared by Trump who did not appreciate the signs that declared: “Just imagine how far you can go with a little bit of English,” an obvious nod to her speaking English with a heavy accent.
“I’m satisfied with the fact that the school admitted that they violated the law and that they are ready to remove the billboards and (Facebook) ads,” lawyer Natasa Pirc-Musar told The Associated Press. “We are still analyzing possible further legal steps.”
The American Institute in Zagreb certainly has a eye catching billboard#MELANIATRUMP #usa #croatia pic.twitter.com/6ZMFKK2Xc3
— The Dubrovnik Times (@DubrovnikTimes) September 18, 2017
American institute in Croatia (this billboard is located in Zagreb) pic.twitter.com/b85mzpv6IO
— Brilliant Ads (@Brilliant_Ads) September 18, 2017
Trump, who was born in neighboring Slovenia as Melanija Knavs and left in her 20’s to pursue a modeling career, has a law firm to protect her image. From cakes to even underwear and tourism advertisements, Trump’s image has appeared on various products in her native country.
“A little bit of English” – A billboard advertising a language school with U.S. first lady Melania Trump’s image in Zagreb, Croatia, Sept 17 pic.twitter.com/5J4CuR45Vx
— Toe Knee (@TonyTharakan) September 17, 2017
While the Croatian school has apologized for the billboards, Pirc-Musar wants to see the statement published by the Croatian and Slovenian state news agencies as well.
Ivis Buric, a spokeswoman for the school, American Institute, admits the campaign was “very successful” as it received much local and international attention.
But though the school is apologetic, they insist there was never any intention to mock the First Lady.
“We are very sorry that the billboards were misunderstood as something intended to mock the U.S. first lady,” Ivis Buric, a spokeswoman for the school, American Institute, said. “It was meant to be something positive, to show her as a role model.”
The school will be launching new billboards without Melania Trump’s image soon, Buric said.
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