Obama Tries to Rein In Use of His Image

White House lawyers look for ways to cut down on marketing
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2009 2:10 PM CST

Marketers have been using Barack Obama to sell everything from futons (Ikea's Embrace Change line) to ice cream (Yes Pecan from Ben & Jerry), but now the White House is trying to rain on their parade, Bloomberg reports. Lawyers are working to “protect the presidential image,” a spokesman said, “while being careful not to squelch the overwhelming enthusiasm the public has for the president.”

But stemming the tide of Obama advertisements won’t be easy, said an intellectual property lawyer. Normally individuals have a right to control the use of their image for commercial purposes, but “I think the First Amendment will be applied much more broadly than it would be with typical entertainment figures or sports figures,” he said. (More Barack Obama stories.)

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