SAN FRANCISCO —When Chia Pet maker Joseph Enterprises first introduced its Chia Obama, honoring the country’s 44th president, some found it more controversial than flattering. That pressured some retailers who had been planning to stock the item to pass on it.
All that is likely to change since company founder Joseph Pedott personally put one into President Barack Obama’s hands at a special White House reception earlier this year. “My reason for creating the series was to make a positive statement,” Pedott said. “It’s totally and completely unpolitical.” According to reports, the terra-cotta likeness was well received by Obama, who posed for pictures with Pedott.
Joseph Enterprises is gearing up to reintroduce Chia Obama as part of its “I’m Proud to Be American” series, which also includes George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and the Statue of Liberty. In support of the launch, the company will roll out TV ads in the fourth quarter, and will tag participating retailers’ logos in the effort.