Meg Whitman Campaigns At Internet Retailer Selling Anti-Whitman Merchandise

Oct 22, 2010 12:25pm

ABC’s Michael Falcone reports:

Chalk this up as a lesson in the political perils of online custom-made tee shirts.

Meg Whitman campaigns with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg today in San Jose, Calif. at a company called Zazzle, which bills itself as “the leading platform for quality custom products.”

Turns out Zazzle.com has an extensive collection of anti-Meg Whitman tee shirts, bumper stickers, buttons, mugs, posters, key chains and all manner of paraphernalia with unflattering slogans like “Neg on Meg,” “eMeg” and “Meg MAID for governor” as well as depictions of Whitman wearing a queen’s crown.

Zazzle carries a wide array of less-than-complimentary items featuring Mayor Bloomberg too, including a button that calls him “the worm in the Big Apple.”

To be fair, the merchandise is created by outside sellers — micro-retailers in Silicon Valley speak — who promote their wares on the Zazzle Web site.

And, of course Zazzle carries pro-Whitman merchandise as well along with gifts for supporters and opponents of her gubernatorial opponent, Democrat Jerry Brown, the two contenders vying for the state’s U.S. Senate seat — Sen. Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina — and just about every well-known political figure.

The company’s home page also hints at bi-partisanship. Featured items include a Palin 2012 tee shirt with an icon of a moose in American flag stripes on sale next to a button with the slogan “Dems Do It Better.”

Zazzle is a natural campaign stop for Whitman with just over a week to go until Election Day. The event gives her a chance to highlight her own experience as a successful leader of a big online retailer — eBay.

Still, we’re willing to bet that the Zazzle executives who are hosting a “roundtable discussion on the challenges and opportunities of doing business in California” won’t be handing out any of this swag to Whitman or Bloomberg today.

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