Logitech Corp. here recently received a polite but firm letter from the White House asking the computer peripheral maker to stop running an ad featuring a photograph of the president.
The ad, created by Woolward & Partners/S.F., uses a picture of Clinton gesturing with his hands to comically illustrate how easy it is to install the ScanMan EasyTouch.
According to the letter, the White House has had a long-standing policy that prohibits the use of the 'image, words, or activities of the President in commercial advertising.' It went on to note that it is against various state laws and the common law to use a person's image for personal gain without their permission.
An official in the Office of the Counsel to the President said the incident was not an isolated one and that the White House is vigorously enforcing the policy, which extends to the first lady and vice president as well.
Logitech took immediate action to withdraw the ad, but was unable to pull it in time from the October issue of four monthly computer magazines.
'There's a common misconception that once a person goes into public life he loses his privacy,' said Jeffrey Edelstein, a partner with the law firm Hall, Dickler, Lawler, Kent & Friedman, which specializes in advertising law. 'That's not true, even if there is no endorsement of the product whatsoever.'
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)