Thursday, February 05, 2009

It's Called a Lack of Taste

In some Claude Rains moment (I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here), the traditional and digital media are taken aback by the use of the Obama brand to sell merchandise. Blake Rutherford's blog provides the pointer to a Bloomberg report on how White House lawyers are looking into limiting usage of the President's visage. It contains this money quote:

“I can’t remember this ever happening to an active politician before, as a spokesperson or as an image for a brand,” said Brad Adgate, director of research for Horizon Media Inc., a New York-based advertising agency.

Um. Does anyone remember pillbox hats? Jackie Kennedy styles? Perhaps the difference is today we are a lot more shameless in the exploitation of public personalities for profit. Thinking back to the style-setting Kennedys, maybe we're a little more transparent about it today.

And for those lawyers -- welcome to the public domain, baby. Kind of like trying to trademark the American flag.

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