Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

Baby formula advert has PM spitting

Photos of Key taken during a factory visit have surfaced in an ad. Photo / Supplied
Photos of Key taken during a factory visit have surfaced in an ad. Photo / Supplied

Politicians normally love being pictured with babies, but Prime Minister John Key has taken exception to a baby formula company using his image without permission.

Key's office will ask Auckland milk powder manufacturers Cowala to remove a picture of him from advertising its powdered milk products.

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said it was "disappointing" that Key's image had been used without approval.

"The Prime Minister's office was unaware this photograph was being used in an advertisement until it was brought to our attention by the Herald on Sunday.

"The advertisement is misleading as it implies the company's product has an endorsement from the Prime Minister, which it does not.

"The Prime Minister's office will be writing to the company to ask them to desist from their actions."

The image was taken when Key attended the opening of Cowala's Auckland factory in June, signed one of the tins, and posed for pictures.

Cowala is a subsidiary of GMP Pharmaceuticals.

Chief executive Karl Ye said the advert had been created by one store, and he had told the store to remove the advertisement. "We didn't have anything to do with making this advert."

Key was a big supporter of New Zealand exporters, Ye said.

Cowala exports its baby formula to China, Japan and Korea.

- Herald on Sunday

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