Royalty and statesmen

A boom in Barack Obama merchandise has prompted the White House to look into ways of safeguarding the new President's image
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Michelle Obama is not happy about the manufacture of dolls bearing the same names as her daughters
Photo: © Getty Images

White House to protect Barack Obama's presidential image

3 FEBRUARY 2009
His overwhelming popularity means President Barack Obama is on track to become one of the world's most powerful brands.

But the huge range of Obama-themed products - from boxer shorts, coffee and lipsticks, to 'Yes Pecan' ice cream, a play on the President's slogan, and 'The Audacity Of Soap' cleaning products, in reference to his second book – has led to concerns in the White House that commercialisation could tarnish the new leader's reputation.

"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," says a spokeswoman.

And it is not just staff members who are concerned. First Lady Michelle Obama is not happy about the production of Sweet Sasha and Marvellous Malia, Beanie dolls which carry the same names as her two daughters.


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