A friend of mine, Catanutz, sent me this photo the other day:
These things can't happen, I thought to myself. How can someone "forget" to buy the photo for such a project and leave the Shutterstock watermarked picture in the final version of the poster? I could be fake. Then I saw some comments online and they made a lot of sense:
Designer: "Here’s the final proof. If you approve this, I'll purchase the stock photo and send you the print-ready file."
Customer: "Looks great!" [ignores designer's comments and sends proof to printer]
This usually happens when there's no project manager and the client talks to the designer directly. The designer could care less about the client, he works for another firm, and the client doesn't understand the process the poster has to go through.
Here's the original file on Shutterstock. What I can say is that designer is pretty good, getting that tiny image to look 'acceptable' on a large poster.