Zagreb, Croatia: Billboards featuring Melania Trump and the slogan “just imagine how far you can go with a little bit of English” have been removed from the Croatian capital after her lawyer threatened a lawsuit.
The billboards were part of a marketing campaign by a private English language school, which tried to persuade Croats to learn English by reminding them of the Slovenian-born US first lady’s personal experience.
But Mrs Trump did not accept what was apparently meant to be a joke. Her Slovenian lawyer demanded that the billboards be immediately removed.
Lawyer Natasa Pirc-Musar tells the AP that she is “satisfied with the fact that the school admitted that they violated the law” and that the billboards were removed on Tuesday.
She says, “we are still analysing possible further legal steps.” Five billboards that emerged Friday show the first lady standing before a fluttering American flag and delivering a speech, presumably during President Donald Trump’s election campaign.
Ivis Buric, a spokeswoman for the American Institute in Zagreb — the local language school that posted the billboards — says the advertising campaign was not intended to mock the US first lady in any way.
“There are different opinions about Melania Trump, but the fact is that she is the first lady,” Buric said. “She had to do a lot, including delivering speeches in English and addressing huge crowds in a foreign language.”
Melania Trump was born in neighbouring Slovenia under the name of Melanija Knavs. She left Slovenia in her 20s to pursue an international modelling career before meeting Donald Trump at a Fashion Week party in 1998.
According to her resume, in addition to her native Slovenian, Melania Trump also speaks English, French, Serbian and German.
Melania Trump has hired a law firm in Slovenia to protect her image, which has appeared on different products there, including cakes, underwear and tourist billboards.
Yet Buric says she is not afraid that her billboard campaign could backfire.
“It is a positive campaign, nothing negative,” Buric said.