The rest of the world better like it next month. Get your hyperdunks now!
From the Wall Street Journal today.
Nike Withdraws 'Dunk' Ads Amid Flurry of Complaints
By NICHOLAS CASEY
July 28, 2008; Page B9
Nike Inc. said it dropped a billboard advertisement in response to critics who complained that the basketball-shoe ads were insensitive to gay men and African-Americans.
The ads, designed by ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, promoted a new line of basketball shoes, called Hyperdunk, that are at the center of Nike's Olympics marketing pitch. The ad featured two unidentified male basketball players; as one flew up to the net for an apparent slam dunk, the other was left below, his face smashed into his opponent's groin.
The scene appeared on outdoor ads in Philadelphia, Atlanta and New York, and was subtitled with slogans like "That Ain't Right" and "Isn't That Cute." Its release prompted a number of blogs to lash out at the company for criticizing gays and African-Americans.
The controversy spread when the complaints were posted by media blog Gawker.
Nike didn't immediately respond to the controversy, which began earlier last week. On Friday, Nike, of Beaverton, Ore., said in a statement that it "has a long history of supporting athletes regardless of their sexual orientation" and would drop the ad, which "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." Nike declined further comment.
Wieden+Kennedy, based in Portland, Ore., countered with its own blog post titled "Hypersensitive, y'all?" a move that prompted a number of angry responses from both sides. The company didn't return calls for comment.