Fur-Free? Yes. Fabulous? The White House Says, No. PETA Using FLOTUS Image Without Permission

By Dschabner

Jan 5, 2010 7:14pm

From Sunlen Miller:People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is using first lady Michelle Obama’s image in a new ad campaign, dubbed “fur-free and fabulous” without the White House’s permission. The first lady’s office says that they did not give PETA consent to use Michelle Obama’s image in their ad campaign, which this week popped up on buses and metro stations across Washington, D.C. The ads feature Obama’s official White House portrait, as well as photos of Oprah Winfrey, Carrie Underwood, and Tyra Banks under the words “fur-free and fabulous.” The first lady’s office has contacted PETA and informed them that they did not have their consent to use the first lady’s image in the campaign. PETA will not be pulling the ads, though. “We haven't asked the White House to fund or promote the campaign, as they can’t do such things, but the fact is that Michelle Obama has issued a statement indicating that she doesn't wear fur, and the world should know that in PETA's eyes, that makes her pretty fabulous,” Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s President said in a statement issued to ABC News. White House deputy press secretary for the first lady, Semonti Stephens, says that indeed, “Mrs. Obama does not wear fur,” but that the issue is over permission of Mrs. Obama’s image.This isn’t the first run-in between the White House and PETA. In June, Mr. Obama’s rather public killing of a fly during a TV interview, led PETA to issue a statement pleading for the president to show compassion for even the smallest animals.And this also isn’t the first time a member of the Obama family has been used in an ad campaign without the White House’s permissionIn August, the White House’s lawyers contacted the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and asked them to take down posters that mentioned the Obama daughters in their healthy school campaign ads.– Sunlen Miller

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