x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Romney moonlights as a promoter for Dubai limo service

A poster uses an unauthorised picture of the Republican US presidential hopeful to attract visitors to the annual Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

Mr Romney's head was superimposed onto the body of a man in a dark suit and red tie to match the other men in the photo.
Mr Romney's head was superimposed onto the body of a man in a dark suit and red tie to match the other men in the photo.

US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney better hope he is more recognisable at home than he is abroad.

His image was used to promote a Dubai limousine service at the Arabian Travel Market on Monday.

A poster featuring Mr Romney and three unidentified men saying “welcome” in different languages was used to attract the interest of thousands of visitors at the annual trade show.

In the image, the Republican has a speech bubble featuring Arabic, with the other men "speaking" English, Hindi and Russian.

Sunny Govnd, a manager at Arabian Voyager JLT, which used the image, said the designer commissioned to make the poster had no idea who Mr Romney was, and had picked up his image from the internet. Mr Govnd said he did not notice the gaffe until an exhibitor at the stand beside them pointed it out.

“When I looked again, I recognised him,” he said. “At these events there is so much going on, I just signed off on it with the printers without looking at it properly.”

The company changed the image on Monday night, and Mr Govnd said they would not use the printer again.

Mr Romney’s head was superimposed on the body of a man in a dark suit and red tie to match the other men in the photograph.

He has been replaced by the head of an Asian man. Such unauthorised use of images is common in the region.

Mr Romney is likely to be the Republican candidate who will oppose the US president, Barack Obama, in the US’s November elections.

eharnan@thenational.ae