Monday, July 28, 2008

Nike pulls part of ad campaign

Nike has pulled some of the Hyperdunk ads that caused a bit of a stir on blogs across the country last week (and that I poked fun at). The ads that have been pulled are the ones captioned, "That Ain't Right," "Isn't That Cute," and "Punks Jump Up."

According to The Oregonian, Nike issued a statement that reads in part:

"Nike is strongly opposed to discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting athletes regardless of their sexual orientation. The advertisement in question is based purely upon a common insight from within the game of basketball - the athletic feat of dunking on the opposition, and is not intended to be offensive

"However, after listening to concerns expressed around specific executions, we have decided to drop them from the campaign to underline our ongoing commitment to supporting diversity in sport and the workplace."

The Oregonian also has a more detailed story about the whole controversy that includes this:

'Really, the ad is problematic because of the context in which homophobia in sports continues to be so rampant,' [Jenna] Frazzini
[executive director of gay-advocacy group Basic Rights Oregon] said . 'I think it's when you have that ad in front of folks who don't understand the commitment that Nike has that it raises concerns.'

"She added that 'if you don't really understand the sports reference, then it's more about the imagery. . . . You've got this image with basically a stamp of disapproval across it.'"

If you go to the
website of the ad agency that created the posters, (the same link that I used in last week's posting, there are now only three posters on display ("Say Hello," "Now You Know" and "Fly") where there used to be six or seven. There are also some contextual shots of posters on display in New York subways.

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