COJO 232 - Visual Communication

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

President Bush addresses officials and small business owners on Jan. 22, 2003, in St. Louis. The boxes were labeled “Made in China,” but the Bush PR team covered the China stamp with “Made in U.S.A.” stickers.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/CORBIS

‘Made in the USA’ backdrop hides ‘Made in China’ labels

Jan. 21, 2003 © The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Someone went to great lengths to ensure the backdrop for President Bush's sales pitch Wednesday on his economic stimulus plan sent all the right messages — and none of the wrong.

Bush delivered his remarks from a warehouse floor at JS Logistics, a trucking, courier and warehouse business that provided a visual image for his argument that his proposal carries economy-boosting benefits for small businesses. The audience was flanked on all sides by piles of cardboard boxes — with additional piles in front of and behind his podium.

Each one of the hundreds of boxes had a piece of paper obscuring its "Made in China" label.

White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan laughingly attributed the clearly gargantuan paper-affixing effort to an "overzealous volunteer" on the president's advance team.

A backdrop made-to-order for the White House filled the space directly behind Bush, which is most likely to show up on TV news clips of the event. Blaring a logo of “Strengthening America's Economy,” it exactly mimicked the real-life box piles, down to perfectly aligned shelves.

Except the boxes on the backdrop were labeled, “Made in the USA.”

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