So Benetton, an overpriced clothing company, decided it wanted to draw attention to its struggling business by using images of famous people kissing each other in what Keith Koffler calls its “I’M NOT GOING TO BE IGNORED advertising campaign.”
Here’s Benetton’s poster of Barack Obama locking lips with Hugo Chavez.
Although grossing people out seems like an odd way to attract business, it would appear that no laws have been broken.
But the White House has weighed in with this terse statement:
“The White House has a long-standing policy disapproving of the use of the president’s name and likeness for commercial purposes,” deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said in a statement. Schultz, according to Politico, declined to say if the White House would take action.
By longstanding policy, does he mean, since the time Benetton used the President’s likeness to make Pharaoh Obama look ridiculous?
If someone can point to me instances where this “long-standing policy disapproving of the use of the president’s name and likeness for commercial purposes” has ever manifested itself, before now, I’d much appreciate it.
Because Nice Deb remembers well how throughout the years of 2008 and 2009, the President’s likeness was used on a whole array of commercial products – to the point where it was frankly creepy and obscene, and I don’t remember the President saying boo about it.
Remember Obama perfume, for instance?
I remember it well because I started a category, Obama Cult Products, back in 2008, and I tracked each and every bizarre and disturbing new item that would appear on the market. I found the cult of personality nature of these products unseemly and kept wondering when the candidate and then the President would finally say, “enough!”
Especially in the cases where his likeness was actually used on American flags, and waved in honor of his inauguration.
In September of 2009, I finally exclaimed, “Why Doesn’t The President Put A Stop To This?“
Here’s what I wrote at the time:
The United States Flag Code provision 176 (g): “The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
At some point, wouldn’t you expect the President of the United States step up and say that this gross breech of flag etiquette in his honor should stop? He may not be able to stop entrepreneurs from making a buck off of his image, but he can certainly discourage the practice. He loves to give speeches, doesn’t he? And hasn’t he been dubbed the “Omnipresent President” because of his tendency to involve himself in every day minutia? How hard would it be for Obama to get one of his media toadies to ask him about this, so he can take the opportunity to express his distaste for these flag desecrations?
Jill Sprik at The American Thinker listed this as one of the Top 20 Things Obama Doesn’t Say:
7. Stop already with all forms of ‘cult of personality’ behavior. I am a public servant, just like all those who have served before and all who will come after my term is complete. It’s not about me, it’s about the country.
Perhaps he could surprise us all, and say something like that?
To the best of my recollection – it never happened. So I’m calling BS on Eric Schultz, who – after all – hasn’t been with the White House all that long. He was hired in May of this year to
do damage control handle press matters related to the U.S. Department of Justice and investigations held by the House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA).
He’s the charmer who “screamed and cussed” at Sharyl Attkisson for “not being reasonable” in her reportage, unlike most of the lapdog media.
Too bad there’s no “longstanding policy of disapproval” in the Obama White House for bullying, trollish media flacks.
Linked by Weasel Zippers, thanks!