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Americans snapping up 'Obamabilia'

LONDON - Urged on by the desire to own a piece of history, Americans have generated a $200m (£134m) market for Barack Obama branded merchandise, quickly buying up plaques, plates and other memorabilia since the November 4 election.

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The election has also been a boon for publishing companies around the US, many of whom followed their circulation jump on November 5 editions with a line in Barack Obama memorabilia such as plaques, press plates of front pages, books, coffee mugs and reprints.

The New York Times has estimated as much as $2m (£1.3m) of its Obama-branded goods have been sold, and reports that the Los Angeles Times has sold nearly $700,000 (£470,000) worth of memorabilia.

Life, People, Newsweek and USA Today are selling similar products, with sales expected to only increase until Obama's inauguration in January.

Allen Adamson, managing director for Landor Associates, part of WPP, told the NYT that Obama "has been the best-marketed candidate, with the most sophisticated branding since John F. Kennedy used television to get elected. So it's no surprise that once Obama was elected, people would try to cash in."

US memorabilia companies such as the Danbury Mint and Telebrands are also cashing in on the election, selling specialised coins, plates and plaques ranging from $25-$100 (£15-£70) each.

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