Opinion: Yes, we can rip off President Obama’s slogan and face

Share via

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

White House lawyers, apparently with few other pressing issues to press, are reportedly investigating ways of protecting use of President Obama’s image all over the globe.

A whole lotta luck with that, guys.

Bloomberg News’ Julianna Goldman quotes a White House spokeswoman: ‘Our lawyers are working on developing a policy that will protect the presidential image while being careful not to squelch the overwhelming enthusiasm that the public has for the president.”

As The Ticket documented here with copious photos around Inauguration Day, millions of articles bearing his image are already sold and worn virtually everywhere on the planet.


(See some sample photos by scrolling down or clicking on the ‘Read more’ line below.)

Southwest Airlines had a ‘Yes You Can’ ticket sale. Ben & Jerry’s has a ‘Yes, Pecan’ ice cream. And Ikea is pushing unassembled furniture out the door with its ‘Embrace Change’ campaign.

Pepsi-Cola has the same old drink but a new symbol that looks remarkably similar to Obama’s wiggly planet. Mark Silva reports over on the Swamp that some clean coal coalition is using the Great Change Agent’s smiley face in one of its ads without White House complaint.

We haven’t seen any ads yet showing the green Obama endorsing his favorite Honeywell thermostat that enables him to keep the Oval Office at Hawaiian beach temperatures. But J. Crew Group is advertising its clothes as worn by First Lady Michelle Obama, who’s more concerned about some dollmaker naming a new line after daughters Malia and Sasha. Which the dollmaker said was just an amazing coincidence.

Here’s another coincidence the new White House lawyers might not want to pursue. The widely used Spanish slogan -- ‘Si Se Puede’ (‘Yes We Can’) -- was actually previously used by the recently reviled last president, George W. Bush, when he captured much of the Hispanic vote in his Texas gubernatorial campaigns.

So, who’ll sue who?

-- Andrew Malcolm

Yes, you can register here for Twitter alerts on each new Ticket item. RSS feeds are also available here. And we’re on Amazon’s Kindle now as well.

Pedestrians in Liberia wear shirts bearing the U.S. president’s likeness.

In her Obama presidential shirt, Herminee Humphrey dances in the chilly streets of Toronto after hearing Obama’s inaugural speech.

Photos, from top: Ahmed Jallanzo / European Pressphoto Agency; Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press