New York, NY, United States (CNS) – A clothing ad featuring President Barack Obama will be taken down. Weatherproof Garment Company promises to remove the billboard ads they erected in New York’s Times Square and in midtown Manhattan last week after the White House requested their speedy removal.
The jacket company said that the ads will be removed “in an expeditious manner” after a conversation with White House counsel Kendall Burman.
The said ad features Obama clad in one of the company’s jackets during a trip to China. When the towering billboard went up last week, the company received criticism for using the president’s likeness.
Weatherproof President Freddie Stollmack told CNN that they didn’t expect the amount of controversy over the billboards. He explained that when they saw Obama’s picture during his Great Wall of China visit, they noticed that he was wearing their coat.
But intellectual property lawyer Barbara Solomon said that their motive was “pure commercial appropriation.” Appropriating Obama’s likeness in their ad violates the President’s right of publicity.
White House has a policy that prohibits the use of the President’s name and likeness for advertising purposes.
Just last week, PETA caused another controversy when they used First Lady Michelle Obama’s likeness in their anti-fur ad. White House denies giving the animal rights organization authorization to use her image, but PETA refused to take down the ad.