There is a good chance that there would be copyright issues in this situation. There may be defenses available if you are attempting to make a parody of the ads by the little changes, but you would need to visit with an intellectual property to know if you were able to assert the 'fair use' defense in your situation. Even if you are able to assert a fair use defense it will not prevent you from being sued, you just might not be held liable at suit. Generally, the practice of copying someone else's ads without permission of the copyright owner is to be avoided as a bad business practice that will end up costing you more money than you will make.
Answering of your question is merely general advice and does not constitute legal advice. None of the statements or implications made by this answer creates an attorney-client relationship with the attorney answering the question. The statements made in this answer are not to be solely relied upon and you should meet with a competent attorney to discuss any concerns you may have regarding this answer.
As the others have aptly noted, this is a problem and you simply should not do it as you likely cannot afford the legal fees to deal with any negative fall out.
If, however, you are married to some idea and really want to move on it I suggest that you at least discuss with a lawyer in private an perhaps have a "fair use" analysis done. While it is unlikely a NFP will be sued in such a case, it absolutely happens and taking chances can only lead to frustrate your charitable mission right?
Most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult.
The law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC (Home of Lantern Legal Services) offers our flat-rate legal services in the areas of business law and intellectual property to entrepreneurs, small-to-medium size businesses, independent inventors and artists across the nation and abroad.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.
Yes, indeed. Consult with an attorney, as my colleagues have suggested.
This is not a legal advice or solicitation, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult with an attorney.
I work for Cardinal Risk Mangement and Cardinal Intellectual Property, IP service companies, but not law firms. I also am the president of Vepachedu Educational Foundation Inc., which is a non profit educational foundation. I also write cultural and scientific compliations for the foundation. I also teach at Northwestern university as a guest lecturer. I also provide some pro-bono guidance on immigration and other issues through Indian American Bar Association. I also have a contract with Cardinal Law Group, a law firm, for IP projects. All this information is on my profile at Avvo and also at Linkedin.
Any views/opinions expressed in any context are my personal views in individual capacity only, and do not represent the views and opinions of any firm, client, or anyone else, and is not sponsored or endorsed by them in any way.