Representatives of England captain John Terry have lodged a complaint over the apparent use of his image for a tobacco warning printed on cigarette packets in India, a report said on Tuesday.
The blurry image featuring the head and shoulders of a man resembling Terry above a warning that "Smoking Kills" was created by the government's Directorate of Visual Publicity, the Indian Express reported.
The newspaper quoted Keith Cousins of Elite Management, Terry's representatives, as saying: "We have reviewed this matter with our client and have today instructed solicitors to take appropriate action."
Terry, 31, who is facing criminal charges in Britain over allegations of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand, has made 72 appearances for England and is also captain of leading English Premier League side Chelsea.
K.S. Dhatwalia, additional secretary of the Directorate of Visual Publicity, told the Express it was "not clear" how the image had been used.
"We sent the creative to the health ministry and they then cleared it and circulated it," he said.
"But how Terry's picture got to be used is not clear."
Government advertising departments have landed in trouble in the past for using "cut-and-paste" images taken from elsewhere.
In 2010, there was embarrassment about a newspaper advertising campaign featuring India's athletes ahead of the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
Pictures of the athletes were set against planes supposedly emitting the orange, white and green national colours in vapour plumes, but the planes were in fact Italian and the smoke Italy's red, white and green.