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GLOBAL WARMING: Forget celebrities. After an unauthorized image of President Obama in a recent ad campaign generated a flurry of publicity, Weatherproof is touting a new marketing vehicle: politicians. The outerwear brand, unfazed by the criticism it received for co-opting the president’s image for commercial use, is sending free coats to some 200 world leaders in hopes of winning some additional publicity.

“We want to keep the political fever going,” said Freddie Stollmack, president of Weatherproof, in Las Vegas Wednesday, where his brand blanketed the Mandalay Bay Convention Center with ads showing an image of Mount Rushmore and the tag line, “Fit for a President.”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is already a fan — or so it appears, since he wrote Stollmack to thank him for the jacket.

The initiative will target U.S. politicians, too, including governors, senators and political hopefuls. “We want to have powerful beings wearing our coats, be it Sen. Scott Brown, Gov. [Arnold] Schwarzenegger or Secretary [of State Hillary] Clinton, who could use some improvement when it comes to fashion,” he added.

Stollmack has just cause to get into politics. The brand’s Obama ad generated 1,100 articles worth an equivalent of $16 million in advertising, according to the company’s clipping service. The media blitz has translated into sales, according to the company, which said the jacket Obama wore in the controversial ad has sold out at Macy’s.

— Brenner Thomas

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