June 23rd, 2005


Truth in advertising

From adbusters:

Nike Campaign "Borrows" Album Art

Rob Kleckner reports:
Exhibit A: Classic cover art for Minor Threat's self-titled 1984 compilation.
Exhibit B: Nike Skateboarding's poster image for its "Major Threat" 2005 East Coast Tour.

You don't need a degree in graphic design to notice the similarities here. They're the fucking same. Oh, wait-- one is blue, not red. And Major, not Minor. And there are some Nike logos tossed in there. This brings to mind an interview with Vanilla Ice, defending the differences between "Ice Ice Baby" and "Under Pressure" ("dun dun dun duh-duh-duh dun" vs. "DUN dun dun dun duh-duh-duh dun").

Come on, Nike, your Swoosh is one of the most iconic brand images in the world, perhaps a tiny notch below the Golden Arches and maybe Coca-Cola; you don't need to be appropriating another culture for yourselves.

But Nike is smart enough to know better, right? They must have asked permission. We spoke to a representative from Dischord Records, Minor Threat's label, if Nike had asked to borrow these images. They said the following: "No, they stole it and we're not happy about it. Nike is a giant corporation which is attempting to manipulate the alternative skate culture to create an even wider demand for their already ubiquitous brand. Nike represents just about the antithesis of what Dischord stands for and it makes me sick to my stomach to think they are using this explicit imagery to fool kids into thinking that the general ethos of this label, and Minor Threat in particular, can somehow be linked to Nike's mission. It's disgusting."

Dischord is not sure of what action they are going to take, but you can tell they are not happy with Nike's choice. We will keep you updated as we learn more about the situation.

* Nike Skateboarding: http://www.nike.com/nikeskateboarding/
* Dischord Records: http://www.dischord.com/