We really don't know the full story here, but what we do know is that is a new billboard campaign in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul that makes it look like Musk is promoting the union, called Synpol MS. The group is using the picture you see above, which has already been used in a number of other contexts. We're not 100 percent sure what the police union was thinking, since we're operating off of a Google translate version of a local news story from Correio Do Estado, but you can see the billboard at that link. One of the Google-translated lines says that, "Outdoor photos have been stopping in social networks and advertising between the situation became a joke." So is this just something to get a laugh? We've asked Tesla for comment, but haven't heard anything back. Do we have any readers who speak Portuguese?
In any case, Correio Do Estado has used the image in their ad campaign for Synpol MS and is using the hashtag #valorizepolicialcivil. The campaign was launched today and apparently Synpol was not aware that the image was of Musk and not just a stock photo actor. They will apparently reach out to the agency that worked on the campaign, so these billboards may not be up much longer.
UPDATE: Helpful reader Naasser Luciano Da Rosa has provided us with his own translation of the original article. Here it is:
South-African billionaire turned into billboard MS-police officer
Campaign is reason of jokes among publicists; Union is looking into the issue
MS-police union used an image of South-African billionaire in campaign to improve the image of profession in the state. Elon Musk is the owner of companies such as Paypal and Tesla Motors.
New MS-police union launched #valorizepolicialcivil [freely translated as #respectthepoliceofficer] this Thursday [02/04/2016] and billboards are scattered all over Campo Grande [the capital]. One is on Avenida Ernesto Geisel, close to a shopping mall.
On the boards, next to the text, one can see the picture of the entrepreneur wearing the characteristic black t-shirt with the logo of the State Police.
Pictures of the billboards ended up in the social media and it has become a joke among publicists.
We contacted the police union that allegedly was not aware of this issue. They informed us that the company that produced the billboards will be contacted in order to have it clarified.
Below you can see the original photo used to produce the billboard. [This photo is at the top of our article - Ed., Autoblog]