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White House rains on Weatherproof's Obama billboard

January 7, 2010 | 11:17 am

Weatherproof billboard

You can tell us he's wearing your suits, name him to your 2009 international best-dressed list, print his name on cocktail dresses and even turn him into a fashionable paper doll, but apparently it's not OK to throw up a towering billboard advertisement in New York's Times Square depicting President Obama shrugging off the inclement weather in one of your coats. Weatherproof Garment Co. is finding that out the hard way.

Associated Press fashion writer Samantha Critchell penned a piece Wednesday detailing the White House's unhappiness with the billboard, citing a long-standing policy that disapproves of the use of Obama's name and likeness for commercial purposes.

The billboard consists of a photo of the commander in chief, taken by AP photographer Charles Dharapak as Obama toured the Great Wall of China. The president's hands are in his pockets and he's got a rugged, looking-off-to-the-horizon stance like (dare we say it?) the Marlboro Man of old. Accompanying the photo is the label's name and the tag line "A Leader in Style."

Because the resulting kerfuffle has served to bring the president's wardrobe choices to the attention of more people than it ever would have if the White House hadn't said anything, we think the garment maker will weather this one just fine.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: Weatherproof Garment Co.'s billboard in Times Square. Credit: Timothy A. Clary / AFP/Getty Images

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