Weatherproof, the American Jacket Mmanufacturer and President Obama´s Picture

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Recently Weatherproof, the American jacket manufacturer, found itself at the receiving end of a controversy when it came out with ads that had the US president, Barack Obama wearing one its jackets, while standing at the Great Wall of China. Weatherproof came across the President’s picture and bought rights to it, with the intent of using it as a sly marketing strategy. This seems to be a clear case of Weatherproof’s attempt at using Obama’s ‘selling power’ to market its goods, and in a way, at free-riding on the President’s persona. It is generally understood that a celebrity’s identity incorporates a certain degree of goodwill or commercial value within it. This value attaches to the endorsed product thereby increasing its appeal and credibility to the consumers. Corporations attempt to improperly appropriate this value to obtain commercial advantage through shrewd marketing strategies, like Weatherproof did, without compensating the celebrity for the ‘endorsement’. The right of publicity and the tort of unfair competition prohibit such unauthorized use of an individual’s identi...

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