21 February 2010

A Brief Commercial Announcement

Not really, but a few thoughts about the ubiquity of our President.

When did it become OK to use the figure of a sitting president for the advertising of profit-making enterprises? I'm assailed with His iconic image exhorting me to refinance my home loan (through Friendly Bank and Trust), encouraging me to pursue higher education (via HighClass Online), and probably to insulate my attic, and get a pedicure as well.

This just isn't right, and I can't be the only person upset by this phenomenon. So far as I can understand, he's not allowed to parlay his status as President for his own personal gain – these are not paid endorsements. On the other hand, as a public figure is he not permitted any recourse to the unauthorized use of his likeness and reputation? It strikes me as legal snakepit, but one that begs to be cleared.

Is it the infatuation with a “rockstar” President? A lowering to subterranean levels of the standards of advertising schills?

I just don't know, but every day that the situation is unaddressed eats away at the dignity and credibility of the office of President, notwithstanding the qualities of the occupant.

No comments: