No strangers to controversy, the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is up to its old tricks again. This time they've raised eyebrows by using an image of Michelle Obama in an anti-fur advertisement without her permission. The White House is not pleased, to say the least.
The ad in question features the image of the first lady alongside the images of Oprah Winfrey, Tyra Banks, and Carrie Underwood underneath the slogan, "Fur-free and fabulous!" The ads, which PETA says features "a bevy of the smartest, most stylish, and most influential women in America," are being plastered all over the Washington D.C. Metro mass transit system, in addition to appearing in various magazines and websites.
While Winfrey, Banks and Underwood are all on record as publicly endorsing PETA's anti-fur efforts, first lady Michelle Obama cannot endorse special interest groups such as PETA. Thus, the White House is mildly perturbed by the use of the first lady's image in the campaign.
"We did not consent to this," a spokeswoman for Michelle Obama said yesterday.
For their part, PETA says that they will not take down the ads and maintains that Michelle Obama's past anti-fur declarations essentially give them license to use her image in a campaign.