Chinese breast cancer survivor’s mastectomy photos used for adverts without her consent

Shanghai woman shared pictures with friends after surgery to remove a breast, but now advertisers have used images to say their products would have prevented her cancer

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 May, 2018, 12:53pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 May, 2018, 1:13pm

A breast cancer survivor who shared pictures of her body on social media after a mastectomy was shocked to find the images used in adverts without her permission, a news website has reported. 

Some of the advertisements even claimed she got cancer because she did not use their product.

Li Li, 50, a former model from Shanghai who had a breast removed in 2016, is demanding the companies apologise for using her images and has threatened legal action, reported.

After her surgery, she shared images with friends on the messaging app WeChat and later started a campaign to increase awareness of breast cancer among women, the report said.

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“To sisters who love their breasts, it doesn’t matter if you lose one of them. We can still live a brilliant life,” Li wrote in the captions for her pictures. “Like a goddess, I am proud of myself!”

It’s using my misfortune to mislead and deceive customers
Li Li

However, she recently discovered the photographs were being used in misleading adverts ranging from promotions for bras, breast massaging machines, beauty salons and acupuncture therapists.

They also gave her differing names and identities. 

Shockingly, one advert said: “A bra to reduce your chance of breast cancer. Would you like that?”

Another said: “You’ve been ignoring advice to do massage, now you’re losing your breast. God is fair.”

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Li was quoted as saying she wants apologies from the advertisers and for them to detail the true nature of the pictures.

She also said she would sue if her photographs were used again without her permission.

“It’s not just a matter of portraiture rights. It’s using my misfortune to mislead and deceive customers,” she was quoted as saying.