PIA Caught Using Stock Indian Image for Eid Promotion Campaign

As embarrassing as it sounds, Pakistan International Airlines has stooped so low as to use Indian stock promotional images.

PIA recently launched its Eid discount offer which shows a family carrying gifts and standing at an airport, while a PIA aircraft stands behind them. The airline is offering a flat 25% discount on all local flights during the Eid period, i.e. 7 July 2016 to 9 July 2016.

The image itself clearly looks photoshopped and evidence shows that it has indeed been edited to remove certain parts which would give away the image’s origin.

The images uploaded and available on the PIA Facebook page can be seen below:

PIA Facebook Eid Offer Indian model

The images can still be viewed at PIA’s Official Facebook Page.

The stock image, which was taken off ImageBazaar, can also be seen below. It bears an uncanny resemblance, which is enough evidence to say that the same image has been used in the PIA promotional image.

Image Bazaar PIA image

There are two versions of the promotional images. The first ones were shared by the PIA on its Facebook page but were then removed and edited to remove evidence of Indian culture and uploaded again.

The unofficial PIA page reshared those images before they were edited and we were able to get our hands on them. You can view the originally uploaded images below:

PIA Facebook Eid Offer Indian model

The original advertising images clearly show the models wearing traditional Indian clothing. From the above image, we can easily deduce that the female model belongs to India by looking at the forehead. The adult male model is also wearing a kurta often worn by Indian people (like Narindra Modi).

By replacing or censoring some parts the image and zooming in even further, the editor was able to hide all aspects which could give away the image’s originality. PIA Facebook Page admins were also quick to take down the original image once someone noticed the flaws.

It is not clear if PIA has bought these images or not. Whatever the case, it is shameful to see that PIA, a government-owned company, could not afford local models or buy a stock advertising image from a local source for their promotional campaign. Instead they chose to get a stock image from India to promote their airline.

He is the Editor at ProPakistani.


  • agr Ganjon ki hakoomat rahi to yeh haqeeat honay se dour nhi…

    • Guest

      Made in Russia doctors (rather fake doctors) AKA YDA ko tu her hakomat ma moot he nazar aye ge.

  • Zohaib

    WTF, if they purchased the image and it is not unmoral then your essay is.very cheap thinking of aadil

    • Stone

      *immoral…. completely agree with your POV though

    • Don’t you think photoshopping a stock image to give it Pakistani feel is immoral or unprofessional?

      These agencies get millions of rupees from cash cows like PIA and still can’t do original work.

    • Nauman Nazir Ahmed

      Absolutely , if the image from stock photos costs 510 and one woth local models costs $100 then which shd PIA prefer??

      Lame article!!!

  • Babar Abbasi

    Time to unfollow propakistani

    • Please do. Your presence is not needed.

      • Taha Najam

        How much are they paying you?

        • Raja Maja

          PP is paying him TAKKA. and he can go far with PP……….ha ha ha

  • Stone

    Ummm unless I am wrong, all sorts of businesses use stock images from various sources. What exactly is shameful about using a readily available source of images that resembles our culture? Slow news day much?

    • Most of the businesses use stock imagery, true that but I guess only the most pathetic agency would dare to photoshop a stock image to give it “Pakistani feel”

      • Taha Najam

        They are pathetic because they photoshopped the image? Are you saying they should have used it as is?

        • The article says they actually did and tried to give it more Pakistani feel. Wonder why they haven’t selected a better photo in the first place.

          • Taha Najam

            While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with whatever stock image you use as long as it gets the message across, but if I had to guess, probably because there aren’t a lot of sites offering stock images of Pakistani families and they had to do this on short notice. I know because I’ve been there as well. Still they did a great job with what they had.

            • You can have your opinion and I can have mine.
              I’ve had a good experience of working with agencies and I know what they do, this one is clearly a fail.

              • Taha Najam

                Actually, no. This might come as news to you, but as journalists, you are obligated to be completely nuetral in your reportings, and leave it up to the audience to decide whether they think it’s “pathetic”or not.

                Unfortunately, the kind of journalism you guys do here at propakistani is based more around sensationalism than actual news reporting. Cheap, very cheap.

                You think this agency failed, eh? Ironic, isn’t it, since propakistani clearly failed, and keeps on failing as a tech blog?

      • Umair A. Shahid

        And what exactly is “Pakistani feel”?

  • hammads

    its the Ad Agency responsible for this shit, people in PIA has no idea its a stock image, but they are somewhat responsible too for not doing due diligence as it’s a big corporate and should have inhouse quality control

    • Taha Najam

      They are an airline company. This does not come under quality control lol. Talk about creating a mountain out of a molehill. Sigh.

      • hammads

        what does this comes under? You mean they do not have a marketing department or even a marketing manager? so they should blindly accept whatever ad agency throwback to them? looking at your comment history quickly i found you have tons of time to argue so I’ll step back and let you feel like a winner in a race you are running alone,.

  • Caught?? You speak like they have done something wrong

    • Raja Maja

      ProPakistani is acting like High court now……………inka bus challay to Govt. hi Gira dein.

  • Haven’t laughed this hard in a while.

    • Raja Maja

      Haslay shayad taira akhri time hooooooooooo………..ha ha ha

  • Taha Najam

    “As embarrassing as it sounds, Pakistan International Airlines has stooped so low as to use Indian stock promotional images.”

    The only one that has stooped low is propakistani lately. My conscience keeps telling me to ditch this pathetic site, but my curiousity to see just how low they’re gonna stoop next just to gain some page views, always gets the better of me.

  • Khalid Yaldram

    lol government-owned company hum na suna yeh Nawaz aur modi saanp ki ha…

  • Mansoor Bin Kafil

    Shamelessl People to Fly With

  • Shurjil Butt

    Who gives a fuck to what images PIA use in their promotion. Be it Indian or Israeli. The real question is their service itself which sucks piss. That ain’t gonna improve. Ronday photoshop nu te performance zero

  • Khan

    If you think this issue deserves an entire article, then look at yourself first. This stock image was used on ProPakistani at least 3 times in the past 2 years and that photo was taken by Bangalore-based Indian photographer Manjunath Kiran (as can be found using Google image search and visiting those websites which have bothered to properly credit this image).

  • Adnan

    using a stock image is not bad. You simply purchase an image rather than hiring models and do photography etc. Grow up kids. Aghar Pakistan myn aesi koi stock images wali website hoti tou PIA waly zarur wahan se image le lete rather than taking it from Indian site. Ab kisi english family ka image lagane se tou rahe…