Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
The problem with being an Obama is that everyone wants a piece of you. Already this week, the White House has objected to PETA's unauthorized use of Michelle Obama in an ad. Now, they're asking Weatherproof to remove a Times Square billboard starring the President wearing what looks like one of the company's coats.
The Times reports that Weatherproof chief Freddie Stollmack noticed the coat in pictures of Obama visiting China, which inspired him to buy the AP photo used in the ad. According to a lawyer consulted by the paper, it's not really clear whether Weatherproof was legally required to get Obama's permission, but that it's always good business to clear things with subjects of ads.
On the other hand, the publicity can't exactly be bad for Weatherproof, which has a history of similar stunts. Last year, Stollmack was photographed forcibly trying to wrap the Naked Cowboy in a Weatherproof coat (seriously, click that link—it's an amazing picture.) And they're clearly very good at garnering negative attention: It's pretty rare to see a company beat PETA in an irksome-off.
· First Lady’s Office Displeased With New PETA Ad [The Cut]
· Coat Maker Transforms Obama Photo Into Ad [NYT]
· White House demands unapproved Barack Obama advert is removed [Telegraph]