President Change's message of fresh hope sounds like just about every new-and-improved TV commercial. No surprise, marketers are jumping on the Barack bandwagon. But now the feds have cracked down on Obama-branded schwag.
Last month, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki made polite noises about how the president's lawyers were looking into stopping people from hawking products using Obama's likeness. We guess they found a way: Department of Homeland Security sent a cease-and-desist order to Brooklyn's Sixpoint Craft Ales to stop the production of its Hop Obama beer, and threatened to seize the brewery. Owner Shane Welch told Eater that a "government representative" revoked his license to brew the beer.
It's by far the most aggressive action we've heard of Team Obama has taken to protect That One's holy brand — a tricky maneuver, since it requires balancing First Amendment rights to parody against laws governing the use of celebrity names in commercial products. Then again, First Lady Michelle Obama, whose fashion choices are getting aggressively merchandised everywhere from TV to Google, has already nixed toymaker Ty's plans to make Sasha and Malia dolls simply by making her displeasure known. Maybe the feds should put her in charge of crushing commercial dissent?