Although I was tired after a long redeye, I always love the drive into New York as the Manhattan skyline comes into view, and this time there was something new that completely woke me up — a giant billboard with Barack Obama modeling a jacket while standing on the Great Wall of China. It’s really a great shot. Of course I googled it as soon as I reached home, learning that I’m not the only one who worked out that the clothing company was assuming a sitting president wouldn’t sue for violation of his rights of privacy and publicity. Apparently the White House has asked for the billboards (there are more) to come down. From NY1:
The controversy surrounding a larger-than-life photo of President Barack Obama is stretching from Times Square to the White House.
Aides to the president are asking the company Weatherproof to remove its billboard in Times Square, which features a photo of the president in front of the Great Wall of China. The advertisement features the tagline “a leader in style.”
The White House says the billboard implies the Obama approved the product — adding there is a long-standing policy against using the president’s name and likeness for commercial purposes.
Weatherproof purchased the rights to the photo from the Associated Press.
The clothing company’s president says he did not think it was necessary to seek approval from the White House, since he says Obama does not directly endorse the product …
[continues at NY1]