How to Market Anything with Free Publicity!
Or Pardon Me? That will be $6.95!
How I tried to compete with President
Clinton and issue presidential pardons.
The amazing story of the free publicity
and sales that were generated!

Pardon me? Remember back in 2001, when President Clinton was leaving office and he issued (or sold) all those presidential pardons?

The news coverage never ended. So, deciding to make a political statement (and maybe a couple of bucks), I started issuing presidential pardons for the common man.

How much did Marc Rich pay for
his Presidential Pardon?

The folks who couldn't afford the million bucks for a pardon, like Marc Rich could order one from me for only $6.95!

These were personalized with their name and were beautifully printed on parchment. With the actual official pardon wording, a beautiful shot of the White House, a fake President Clinton signature, but a realistic presidential seal, they looked more authentic than the more expensive ones my competitor, President William Clinton was offering.

Gil offers pardons for the masses!

Everyone loved them! A lot of politicians, judges and military officers were buying them. Someone in a federal prison ordered one. Not sure if it got him out. I was having fun, selling them through a website and on eBay.

Then onto national TV and Radio!

Then it snowballed. It hit the wire services. FOX TV sent a limo out for me and put me on FOX News & FOX & Friends. (I just kept holding up a pardon for the camera and giving out my website URL every couple of minutes.)

Radio stations picked it up and a bunch of radio interviews kept me busy, Neal Bortz played it up on his talk radio program and put a link from his website to mine, which gave me more orders than anything else.

It pays to do something unusual!

The moral of this story is do something crazy and you'll get a million dollars worth of publicity (or maybe they'll just lock you up!)

Want to see these $6.95 Presidential Pardons? Maybe you can still get one for yourself!

What was the real motivation beyond these replica pardons?

We'll, even I'm not sure. Many President Clinton supporters applauded me for supporting him, while many more Republicans saw it as a way to protest what was happening in the Clinton Whitehouse.

But my real motivation was just to make fun of the pardon fiasco and the news coverage that never ended.

its been 8 years now! I thought they were dead, but everyone who sees mine hanging on my office wall wants one.

Just the other day my neighbor, John, a lawyer wanted one to hang on his office wall and was tickled pink with it.

Maybe it's just a timeless piece of Americana that will never go out of style.

Want a peek at this great pardon that looked more official than the Whitehouse's own pardons?

(And they make great gag gifts!)

Gil Carlson

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