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On the train coming home last night, I saw an ad at the Fullerton stop that stunned me to my very soul. I almost thought it must have been a college prank (being right there at the DePaul stop) or the work of some well-organized culture-jammers. But as the train progressed, I saw the ad again at the next three stops. I got out to switch trains (and get a better look), and the ad appeared to be completely authentic. I am thoroughly amazed and sickened.

Perhaps everyone already knows about this and I'm a dork because I never noticed it before yesterday, but the ad is this: A three-panel display poster for Nike. The two outside panels are photos of some sort of new running shoe, turned on its side with melty snow clumped in the treads. The center panel, in plain white type on black, says, "Our employees never get to enjoy the weather."

What the fucking fuck?!? Is corporate bastard Nike using its slavery-like sweatshop working conditions as a sales pitch? "Hey, we keep teenaged Asian girls chained to sewing machines working 16 hours a day with no bathroom breaks so you can have these kick-ass shoes! They don't even get to see sunlight! Aren't we great?"

Or are they trying to convince us that the white-collar workers in Beaverton are the ones who never get outside? "Poor Phil Knight! He's getting rickets from staying indoors making sure people have pretty sneakers!"

Or am I just being cynical again?

Replies: 2 Confessions

We got a reputable report from Phineas last night that those ads are in fact jammers having some fun with Nike's slogan, "Enjoy the weather". Apparently, someone manufactured some stickers with the beginning part of the quote that Amy saw, and stuck them all up and down the Red Line stops, on the Nike ads.

So we can rest assured that it wasn't a Nike thing. Now someone please go take a picture of those ads for Adbusters.

jima @ 01/13/2002 08:34 AM CST

Ah, yes -- thanks to Phineas, my faith in humanity is restored. (I never thought I'd ever string those words together in a sentence!)

amyc @ 01/13/2002 11:34 AM CST

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