Prime Minister John Key is seeking to trade mark a number of the comedy phrases and slogans that have made him famous.
Mr Key’s patent attorney James Baldpark last week filed a number of trade mark applications with the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office.
Key’s move came only a day after news broke that US sitcom star Charlie Sheen has sought to protect a number of the “winning” phrases he has become associated with.
The comedy phrases Mr Key is seeking to protect include “No GST increase”, “closing the income gap with Australia” and “sound economic management”.
Marketing experts say the revenues from merchandise sales could be considerable.
Branding consultant Gareth Blursheim said the market for Key-branded t-shirts could be considerable.
“A shirt bearing the slogan ‘better than Don Brash but still pretty stink’ could go for up to fifteen dollars,” said Mr Blursheim.
“Key might even sell enough to cover the cost of the trade mark.”
The Prime Minister is also understood to be looking at merchandising opportunities in the lead-up to the royal wedding.
His advisers have reportedly told him there is big money in wedding memorabilia.
Mr Blursheim agrees.
“Key’s an iconic Kiwi hero. We love our royals, and Will and Kate’s wedding is a dream come true for licensed merchandise sellers. So a set of decorative tea-towels with pictures of John and Bronagh in full wedding garb would be a real money-spinner.
“But the real money’s in paper. Toilet paper.
“I know I’d pay big dollars for a roll of loo paper with Key’s mug on it. His party’s been crapping on us for the last two and half years. Wouldn’t it be great to return the favour?”