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Monday, January 11, 2010

Our Commander-in-Chief, Above 7th Avenue

Obama billboard, Times Square
Photo by myself near Times Square, around 7th Avenue and 41st Street.

Yes, it's President Obama in an ad for outerwear, just south of Times Square and above a Red Lobster.


I just had to check out the controversial billboard that was put up last Wednesday in Times Square.

The Weatherproof Garment Company put up an image of President Obama, some 20 feet high. According to the Times, the photo was taken by the Associated Press, the President is indeed wearing a Weatherproof jacket. The company paid a licensing fee but failed to obtain consent from the White House before erecting the billboard.

The White House stated they would have the company take the billboard down immediately, but the image was still there last Friday.

I'm sure they're dealing with a bunch of other things over there in Washington.

Related posts: The Meal O'bama Cart, Midtown, The Day After and On Times Square and Our Rupert.


Olivier said...

en effet c'est surprenant de voir une publicité avec votre president ;) (en France, si je me souviens bien c'est interdit). Je comprends que la maison blanche est refusé

Christina said...

I sort of love it!! Although I'm sure there are many reasons why it is wrong to use the president in advertising.

Nori said...


Fredrik said...

If that happened over here, it would be a huge scandal.

Washington said...

Is there any law that prevents the use of the president's image for commercial purposes? But that is something to think about. For exemple, many humoristic programs (not only in the US) use the image the president to make fun, and in this case, the image of the president is being used for commercial purpose, isn't it?

Susu Paris Chic said...

A funny gaffe! He is just a person, yet not just any...

Kitty said...

Hi Olivier!
Yes, the White House refused. I wonder when it will be taken down?

The ad has generated a bit of controversy, which is exactly what the company wanted.

Hi Christina
I agree with you. It was kind of cool to see such a huge billboard, I have to say.

Thanks Nori!

Ha Fredrik. I think we just have too many scandals over here.

Hi Washington
I think if the image had a licensing fee, it means it was up for grabs. I think it's a courtesy to ask the White House and they really should have done so.

If an image is used on a tv show, it's not directly selling a particular product.

Ha Susu, yes.

bigapplejuice said...

Yes, I saw it too! :)
And I covered it on my blog too...heh...what a coincidence.
Good to connect with another fellow NYC Blogger! ;)

Lily Hydrangea said...

You are so funny & right about DC having to deal with more important things!
I do love this shot though.

Terry B, Blue Kitchen said...

Actually, working in advertising, I can say that what they did was unlawful. If they were using the image for editorial purposes--an article in Newsweek, for example--it would be fine. But photo agencies always say of their images of famous people that if you're using them for marketing purposes, you must also obtain written permission from the person [or his or her estate--Elvis, for instance]. That said, it's refreshing to see the company isn't concerned about Obama's current approval ratings. If it had been W in the jacket, I don't think we'd be seeing this billboard.

missb@dragonflyvintage said...

ha! i think it's pretty funny. glad you were able to memorialize it before it was taken down!

Jose said...

He does look great though! I was shocked when I saw it initially without knowing what happened. For that moment I thought it was serious overkill for Obama and didn't understand why he allowed this.

Ken Mac said...

that guy's got jaw

valeria said...

I guess it's quite right that the president's image can't be used for commercials. But, hey, he looks amazing!
Let us know what happens next... I guess the company could be in big troubles...

Torilpia said...

I kind of loved it .. but I'm not so into American laws ..

He's a beautiful man - by my opinion .. :o)

Kitty said...

Thanks Bigapplejuice!
I look forward to visiting your blog.

Thanks Lily!

Hi Terry
So good to have the opinion of one 'in the business'. It is a bit shocking the company used the image.

The Times article implied they are typically controversial, though I've never heard of them before.

Thanks MissB!

Valeria I'm with you. I think he looks great!

Thanks Torilpia! ;-)