Page last updated at 03:00 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 04:00 UK

US family turned into advertising

The Smith family's Christmas photo
From this family photo in St Louis...

A couple from the United States got a shock when they learned their family photo was being used, unauthorised, on an advertising poster in Prague.

Danielle and Jeff Smith used the photo as their Christmas card, and also posted it on an internet blog.

A friend travelling in the Czech capital alerted them when he spotted the Smiths smiling at him, life-size, from a poster in a supermarket.

The owner of the shop has promised to remove the image.

Grazie supermarket advertisement, featuring the Smiths a supermarket advertising poster in Prague

"It's a life-size picture in a grocery store window in Prague - my Christmas card photo!" said a startled Ms Smith, 36, who lives in a suburb of St Louis.

Mario Bertuccio, whose Grazie shop specialises in Italian food imports, said that he thought the image had been computer-generated.

He used it to advertise his shop's grocery delivery service.

When told that it showed a real family, he took steps to remove it.

"We'll be happy to write an e-mail with our apology," said Mr Bertuccio, adding that if the family had lived locally, he would have offered them a bottle of wine.

The Smiths and the photographer who took the picture, Gina Kelly, say that no permission was sought or given for the photograph to be used.

They said they would add a watermark to any family photos they post in the future.

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