Clothing company Weatherproof just scored quite the plum spokesmodel: Who better to vouch for their spiffy, sporty jackets than President Obama looking handsome and rugged at The Great Wall of China? In fact, he charges much less than Linda Evangelista (actually, he costs zero dollars), and they’re so dang proud they just went ahead and plastered the ad right up in the middle of Times Square, one of the crossroads of the world. Why exactly is this such an extraordinary, awe-inspiring feat? Because Obama had absolutely no say in the move, and therefore Weatherproof clearly has some pretty huge cajones.
So how did this happen exactly?The company simply snapped up the advertising rights from the photo agency of the Associated Press and boom, a sweet, sweet ad campaign was born. And here’s how they’re spinning its legality: “Weatherproof did not seek permission from the White House, and does not believe it was necessary to do so as the billboard does not claim Mr. Obama endorses the product.”
Our question here (among what kind of mushrooms the CEO of Weatherproof gobbled down for breakfast before greenlighting this decision), is how a picture of Obama wearing the jacket in an ad with the company’s name slapped across it does not endorse the product. This is INSANE. (Apparently, The New York Times, New York Post and Women’s Wear Daily agree, as all three rejected a similar advert for their newspapers despite dismal financial times for print publications. When the Post has a moral objection, you know you’ve pulled a real Baddy McBadderton.) And because this comes to light on a day where PETA basically did the same exact thing with First Lady Michelle Obama, we wouldn’t be surprised if some law specifying the fair use of our nation’s leaders when it comes to product endorsements and ad usage doesn’t come down the pike way ahead of health care reform.
Correct us if we’re wrong here, but if they had slapped, say, Brad Pitt on there without permission his lawyers would eat them for lunch. Does anyone think this is beyond crazypants? [Daily Mail]