After Ray-Ban complaint, Rand Paul's campaign store
Among 12-packs of "Rand on a Stick" freedom paddles, NSA Spy Cam blockers, and other quirky paraphernalia, presidential candidate Rand Paul's online campaign store also sold a product at "the intersection of politics and cool" -- Rand-branded Wayfarer sunglasses. But after a complaint lodged by eyewear manufacturer Ray-Ban, the campaign store has pulled them from its virtual shelves.
"When we learned that the Rand Paul campaign was selling Ray-Ban sunglasses imprinted with the "Rand" logo without our consent, we sent them a formal request to remove the product from their site, which they did promptly," Jane Lehman, spokesperson for Ray-Ban public parent company Luxottica, told CBS News in a statement.Ray-Ban asked the Rand Paul campaign to remove the glasses after its parent company was first alerted to their existence by CBS News. Lehman also told CBS News that selling Ray Ban merchandize with the "Rand" logo was actually illegal.
"Ray-Ban is not at all a political brand - we're focused on making sunglasses that people love," the spokesperson told CBS.The campaign was selling the eyewear for $150 -- a price the campaign acknowledged was "more than you might normally pay for sunglasses." The store noted in a caption that the allure came from the fact that glasses were "indelibly marked with the Rand Brand."
One photo on the campaign's site depicted President Kennedy wearing the popular Ray-Ban shades."You and I may not be Jack Kennedy, but Rand likes Raybans and now we can all own Rand branded Raybans," the website read. The glasses are not "made in the U.S.A.," but are actually manufactured in Italy.
Paul, whose draw with younger demographics has provided a launching pad for his recently-announced presidential campaign, uses the store to raise money for his 2016 White House bid.Paul's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.