Sources usually speak of "giving the seal of approval" to a product, program, etc. Is there an more literal but still idiomatic way of expressing the opposite of "withholding the seal of approval"? I was thinking of "appending" or "affixing" but this seems to lack umph.
apply verb with object Put or spread (a substance) on a surface. ‘the sealer can be applied to new wood’ - ODO
Here's an example of its use (it's a chapter subtitle):
- THE CERTIFIER: Applying the Seal of Approval - The Middleman Economy by Marina Krakovsky
The literal meaning is that the label is pasted onto product. The figurative meaning is that the certifier approves of the product.