Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Attention Special Interests: Leave the First Family Out Of Your Ads

Back in August, I blogged about  Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a thinly veiled vegan promoting activist group, referencing Sasha and Malia Obama in an ad campaign for healthier school lunches and plastered the ads all over the DC Metro. The White House, not surprisingly, was not pleased.

It seems PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is up to similar tricks but took it a step further by actually using Michelle Obama's photo in a recent anti-fur ad. The White House has said was never authorized. Um, why does PETA think they can use someone's image without permission? Especially someone like Michelle Obama, who is not only a celebrity, but someone who legally cannot endorse an special interest group like PETA. According to this Associated Press article,
PETA says that they will not take down the ads and maintains that Michelle Obama's past anti-fur declarations essentially give them license to use her image in a campaign.
Whoa, hold on there. How is that even remotely their excuse? Michelle Obama's public stand on fur isn't exactly a model release for an ad campaign. Or am I missing something?

Like I mentioned in my August post, ruffling the feathers of the White House is maybe not such a good idea and if PETA thinks Michelle Obama is as fabulous as they claim, why can't they show her and her position a little respect? Breaking the rules, false advertising and ticking off a popular political figure doesn't help your brand.

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