The march of the entrepreneurs:  White House moves to protect Barack Obama brand from exploiters

The new President’s White House lawyers are looking at ways to safeguard the use of his image after a boom in Obama-related products has raised concerns that his reputation could become tarnished by such commercialisation.

Message Control, we have a problem:

Any attempts to limit the exploitation of Mr Obama’s name and image will be difficult because of the strength of freedom of speech rights in the United States and the sheer scale of the booming industry that his election has spawned.

Obama is a one-man economic stimulus:

There are Obama-themed running shoes, Yes We Can Cola, boxer shorts, golf balls, hot sauce, Barack-O-blend coffee, chocolate Obama lollipops, Obama lipstick and Obama cigars. Ikea, the home-assembly furniture chain, has launched an “Embrace Change” marketing campaign, while Southwest Airlines has promoted a “Yes You Can” ticket sale.

The Pepsi-Cola Company has jumped on the bandwagon, too.

Other Obama must-haves:   the collector plates , shirts ,
glow-in-the-dark refrigerator magnets , the egg of power , and the Chia Pet.

Get your good publicity while it’s hot:

In the United States, public figures have legal rights to control the use of their likeness.  The Obamas seemed happy to allow the exploitation of their image during the campaign because it was overwhelmingly positive. But as the pressures of the presidency increase, there will probably be more effort to control Brand Obama. His aides are already looking ahead to his 2012 re-election campaign, when these heady post-inaugural days will probably be a faint memory.

What should I put on my Christmas list next year?  Decisions, decisions.

H/T Daily Beast

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