In this economy, it seems everybody is trying to find a way to make a buck. Recently, a huge billboard was placed above the Red Lobster in Times Square which featured a suave looking Black male who just happens to be our President. Funny thing is… President Obama never officially endorsed the product.
The Weatherproof jacket company thought it would be a bright idea to feature President Obama as it’s “unofficial” spokesperson after he was photographed wearing their product.
President Obama’s billboard features a photo taken by AP photographers a few months ago. Obama strolls along the Great Wall of China rocking the Black Weatherproof jacket and Weatherproof Company president Freddie Stollmack, was so pleased that Obama was captured in their gear, that they’ve now christened the jacket he wears in the photo “the Obama Jacket”.
It’s a really great pic, but Weatherproof didn’t get clearance from the White House to use the image and in now way compensated the President for use of his image.
and neither did Peta…
in the same vein, our first lady is featured in a PETA ad where she was photoshopped alongside Oprah Winfrey, Tyra Banks and Carrie Underwood in front of a sign declaring her to be “Fur-Free and Fabulous”.
Both companies that ran the ads have been blasted by the White House for featuring the Presidential couple without their permission and neither have compensated the couple for use of their image to endorse a product.
The Weatherproof Company says they were contact by the White House but hasn’t yet spoken to anyone, stating, “It’s a phone tag situation.” … of course, there has been an endless string of media interviews and they’re taking every opportunity in stride. “It’s turning into a dust storm. We never anticipated this kind of press coverage.”
PETA president Ingrid Newkirk claims they’re doing nothing wrong:
“We got a call from the White House counsel’s office,” Newkirk says. “We said to them, we’re not selling a coat, only an idea that glamorous beautiful women who you look up to don’t wear fur. . . . We’re honoring her. Lawyers are lawyers, but PETA is honoring her fashion sense.” So there.
“PETA is an advocacy organization and can claim to be making a political statement,” [Georgetown law professor Rebecca] Tushnet says. “Political speech, even in the form of an ad, gets greater protection under the First Amendment than standard ads.”
Both advertisements are likely to remain in rotation even though President Obama and first lady Michelle did NOT approve the message. The White House probably won’t even waste resources on fighting these two companies.
Sad but true.
You would think that a line was crossed but if you recall, President Obama’s image is also used to sell dildo’s. Popularity breeds demand. *sigh* Is anything sacred…?