The Washington Times - March 4, 2009, 11:08AM

When you’ve got a popular, marketable president, it’s only natural for people to attempt to profit from his image.



The Obama White House has been dealing with this issue for months as everyone from Pepsi to the D.C. police department borrow his campaign slogans.


In many cases they are subtle rip-offs, a spin on his campaign logo or a slogan stating, “Yes We Can _________.”


(I saw Yes We Pancakes on a menu recently in New York.)


But in a twist that may irritate the president, this new ad for a casino opening ran this week in the Indianapolis Star:



It uses the Obama campaign font, his exact slogan and even a shadowed image of the president giving a thumbs up.


A blogger over at Daily Kos noticed the ad as well, calling it “a cynical attempt to cash in on our president’s popularity.”


The blogger adds a note of irony: “This ad is targeted to heavily Democratic Marion county, and the casino resides in heavily Republican Shelby county” and puts the ad in political context here.


I asked the White House about the casino ad, and an aide didn’t directly respond but said a new policy is “pending.”


The counsel’s office is developing a policy to “protect the presidential image, while being careful not to squelch the overwhelming enthusiasm that the public has for the president,” the aide told me, adding that other administrations have had similar policies.


On a related note, Scott Galupo has a nice front-page story today about Obama inspiring a flood of new kids’ books.


Read it here.


 Christina Bellantoni, White House correspondent,
The Washington Times


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