Company apologizes, removes billboard using Eve Carson photo

jstancill@newsobserver.comMarch 22, 2012 

A billboard featuring the photo of murdered UNC student body president Eve Carson seen on National Highway 49 maybe 20 and 30 miles west of Munnar in southern India.

BRUCE SICELOFF — bsiceloff@newsobserver.com

The company in India that erected billboards with the photo of slain UNC-Chapel Hill student leader Eve Carson has apologized for the signs and pledged to take them down, according to a report in The Hindu newspaper.

A director with Jubeerich Consultancy, a company that promotes study abroad opportunities and job placement, expressed "deep agony and pain" in an interview with The Hindu.

Efforts to reach Jubeerich by phone this morning were unsuccessful. The company has not responded to several emails from The News & Observer in recent days; an employee who answered the phone at Jubeerich on Wednesday said that, as far as she knew, the billboards did not exist.

A News & Observer reporter traveling in India spotted two billboards featuring the smiling face of Carson. The photo was Carson's official student body president portrait, and the copyright is owned by the university.

Carson was abducted, robbed and shot to death in 2008 in a case that made international headlines. Two men were convicted of her murder.

Justy Mathew, a director with Jubeerich, told the Indian newspaper that he would have the Carson image removed by 5 p.m. today. "It was not intentional," Mathew told The Hindu.

Mathew said the advertising company that had the contract for the billboards may have lifted Carson's image from the Internet. The photograph was widely published and broadcast in media reports of Carson's death.

Stancill: 919-829-4559

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