Monday 23, 03.2015

Nestle takes illustration and uses it on their Facebook page without artist’s permission

As an artist, it’s likely to get your work stolen, especially if you are very active online. The more exposure you have, the more likely it is that someone might take your work without permission and use it for just about anything – from editing it into banners and e-cards, to creating actual products for sale (like toys, t-shirts and so on). Many times you might not even find out about it. I’ve seen it happen to people I know and I hear about these situations every once in a while.  But this is the first time, that I know of, that a global brand gets involved in something like this. On Friday, Nestle posted on their official Facebook page, Nestea Venezuela, an edited illustration of artist Cristiano Siqueira, without his permission and without any mention of the author. Moreover, Nestea edited the illustration to create an image with their logo and tagline on it, and the words “Felicidad es… Viernes” (in translation, Happiness is Friday).

Nestle steals illustration and uses it on their Facebook page

It’s such an amateurish attitude from the page management, since they are representing a global brand

A fellow illustrator saw their post and contacted Cristiano Siqueira to let him know that his work had been used without permission. Siqueira says he hadn’t been approached for permission request at any moment and that he would have been happy to negotiate the use of the illustration, had he been asked first. “I think it’s such an amateurish attitude from the page management, since they are representing a global brand”, says the artist who, as soon as seeing Nestea’s Facebook post, left a comment to inform them that they don’t have authorisation to use his illustration. Up until this moment, there has been no reply from Nestle Venezuela, although (surprise, surprise) the status has been erased, in the meantime.

That makes me think, if a global brand gets away with it, why shouldn’t everybody else?

I don’t get it. So, someone happens to create work you appreciate, enjoys doing it and makes it seem effortless, then posts it online for everyone to see. In what universe does that give you the right to decide you have to use it, for personal or commercial purposes, without asking that person first? What gives you the right to believe that you can just take something that isn’t yours and use it, for free, in any context you want, even though that’s someone else’s hard work?  Would you like it if some guy off the street sees the shoes you’re wearing, loves them, so he decides to take them off your feet because he wants to take them for a walk too? You wouldn’t like that? Then stop using people’s work without asking for their permission first. It’s the same thing. And the surprising part is that this isn’t an obscure small business we’re talking about, like the beauty saloon from across the street or a print shop that makes cheap t-shirts and mugs. This is a global brand who hired a social media agency that hasn’t got the simplest, most basic understanding of the way things work. And who shouldn’t get away with something like this, otherwise a significant precedent will be created. You know, the kind of “If Nestle did it, why shouldn’t we?”.

Nestle steals illustration and uses it on their Facebook page

About Miruna

Hi, my name is Miruna Sfia. I'm 28 and I'm a self-employed graphic designer and illustrator living in Bucharest, Romania. I created Talk Illustration because I wanted to be able to learn from some of the best people in my industry.

If you want to know more about the things I work on, feel free to follow me via Facebook, Twitter or Google+


  1. Carlos

    March 23, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    The nace of the company Who steal is Nestea fix the de title


  2. miruna

    March 23, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Nestea is a Nestle brand.


  3. TheInfinitelyReproducible

    March 23, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Copying is not the same thing as theft. That’s why there’s a distinction between copyright infringement and stealing. To steal something the owner loses possession of an object to the thief due to it’s scarce nature. For instance, if you have a physical object that is stolen, you no longer have the object. Here the author is not dispossessed of his oringinal image, but Nestle has made an “unauthorized” reproduction that they copied out of their own resources.


  4. Andres

    March 24, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Felicidad Es Viernes translates into Happyness is friday (not happy friday). Just a little friendly heads up 😉


  5. miruna

    March 24, 2015 at 11:16 am

    @Andres Oops, thank you for the clarification 🙂 I thought it didn’t sound right, but I actually didn’t see the space between the 2 words (they look like they’re linked together). thanks!


  6. Pappa

    March 24, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    To try and add a bit more info… As far as I’m concerned, the Nestea brand page that did this is has been managed by the agency La Web Conexión for a while now, its Venezuela based and as far as I was concerned it was a local brand thing (maybe Latin America)…

    Point is… Here in Venezuela we are so used to the “nobody notices us, we can do what we want…” and that means piracy of apps (having a paid Adobe suite is a rare sight, there have been issues concerning full agencies not using a legal paid suite, at the personal level, it is the RAREST thing to hear someone has actually bought his Adobe programs), bootleg movies and music, blatantly use of image and art of foreign artists locally (as I’m sure happens elsewhere, but at some point its hilarious to see Paris Hilton’s face in a box of hideous shoes of some offbeat brand)…

    And thats exactly what happened here, the laziness came to the point of “this artwork is great, might as well use it!” then of course when the person who manages Nestea from inside Nestlé is presented with such pretty artwork, he won’t ask where did it came from, or who did it, he just cares it looks great… After all, the agency must have reaaally good artists working there, right? Right… /s

    So this mentality backfired for the designer, the agency and the brand, my team and I are all curious to see if by the end of the day La Web still has a gig with Nestle or they have gotten the boot they deserved… In the meantime every agency here wants to try and take away the prize and are all planing (or probably should have it ready by now) a proposal to Nestlé Venezuela.


  7. Vladimir

    March 24, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Te plagio una imagen y luego te digo…

    “A Veces hay que ser tan frío y natural como un NESTEA”


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