Thursday, October 10, 2013

US Postal Service Puts Let's Move! Stamp Series On Hold Due To Safety Concerns

White House representatives decide that three of the stamps in the "Just Move" series depict children in unsafe activities...
Washington, DC - The US Postal Service's release of a series of postage stamps commemorating First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign has been put on hold due to safety concerns.  The fifteen-image Just Move stamp series features illustrations of kids engaged in a variety of physical fitness activities, including running, swimming, skateboarding, juggling, walking & jogging, and skipping rope.  

The stamps, already printed and ready to be issued, are "forever" stamps, meaning they would have been usable even when the Postal Service changed the monetary value for stamps.  

But the release is now on indefinite hold after a representative from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and a representative from the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign expressed worry that three of the images on the stamps show children engaged in activities that could be harmful, reports Linn’s Stamp News, which spoke with a USPS spokesman.

The White House representatives raised the safety concerns after Nagisa Manabe, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, Executive Vice President of USPS, asked Mrs. Obama to take part in a first-day release ceremony for the stamps.  That was apparently the first time the art work was reviewed by a member of the President's Council and Mrs. Obama's campaign.

The stamps flagged as unsafe show a figure doing a cannonball into a swimming pool, a skateboarder without knee pads, and a child doing a handstand--without a helmet.   (The stamps in question, above)

Apparently not a cause for concern:  A stamp that shows a child swinging a bat at a ball without a helmet, and a stamp that shows a soccer player without shin guards.  And a child doing a cartwheel without a helmet was not deemed unsafe, either.

The series is set to be destroyed, reported Linn's, but a different USPS spokesman told The Daily Caller that a final decision could be be made next year.

"The stamps are on hold with the printer and we have not made a decision at this point, right now, with respect to how we are going to move forward," a USPS spokesman told The Daily Caller.

Interestingly, none of the images depict dancing or hula hooping, two of Mrs. Obama's signature activities that have made headlines during the course of her child obesity campaign, first launched in 2010.  The USPS commissioned the artwork from artists Eli and Derry Noyes earlier this year, to "support" and "promote" Let's Move!.

Mrs. Obama's campaign involves more than twelve different federal agencies, including the Department of the Treasury and the Department of the Interior.  She's themed many White House events around Let's Move!, including the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

The stamps are not the first branding effort from the Let's Move! campaign, inside and outside the federal government.  The water-drop logo for Mrs. Obama's hydration campaign, Drink Up, will appear on more than half a billion disposable and re-usuable water bottles in the coming months, as well as on public water taps and billboards around the nation, according to the First Lady's office. 

And the Let's Move! campaign routinely hands out t-shirts and caps with the Let's Move! logo at events.  This logo shows a child running beside an apple.  Pop star Beyonce Knowles created a line of t-shirts that featured a variation on the logo in 2011 through her own clothing company.

*Images from US Postal Service via Linn's Stamp News