Ray-Ban smacks down Rand Paul: Stop putting your logo on our sunglasses!

Branding a company's product with your campaign logo and selling it without permission is a no-no

By Scott Eric Kaufman
April 22, 2015 10:30PM (UTC)
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Rand Paul (AP/Susan Walsh)

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is an ardent believer in the ruthless efficiency of the free market -- but he isn't actually all that good at capitalism, as The Hill's Molly Hooper and Alexandra Oliveira report.

Paul's campaign had been selling Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses emblazoned with the "Rand" logo for the tidy sum of $150 on his website. As it turned out, the campaign was doing so without Ray-Ban's approval, and so the company notified Rand's people that they needed to stop selling the branded sunglasses immediately.


In an email to The Hill, Jane Lehman -- a spokesperson for Luxottica, the parent company of Ray-Ban -- wrote that "[w]e learned that the Rand Paul campaign had been selling Ray-Ban sunglasses imprinted with the 'Rand' logo without our consent. After a formal request from us, they promptly removed the product from their site and agreed to cease any further use of our trademarks."

While the Paul campaign declined to comment on the removal of the sunglasses from his website, someone is no doubt heartbroken that -- as the description of the glasses captured by Talking Points Memo indicates -- an item that was at "the intersection of politics and cool" is no longer available. Not only were they Ray-Bans, they were "indelibly marked with the Rand Brand."

Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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