Nike Company Assignment
Nike Puts Its Foot in Its Mouth “For myself personally and for this advertising agency, I deeply apologize.” What kind of work would elicit this response from Dan Wieden, co-founder of advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy? In an ad Wieden’s agency created that ran in several national outdoor magazines, including Backpacker, Nike promised that one of its running shoes would help the runner avoid running into trees and becoming “a drooling, misshapen nonextreme trail-running husk of my former self.
Forced to roam the earth in a motorized wheelchair with my name embossed on one of those cute little license plates you get at carnivals or state fairs, fastened to the back.” The ad was meant to be humorous, but it deeply offended people with disabilities. According to Mark Kleid of eBility.com, a website for people with disabilities, “The ad expressed the kind of antiquated bias we are fighting to eradicate. It is outrageous that Nike and its ad agency allowed such denigrating words to be published.
” The company pulled the ad after disability-rights groups called the ads offensive; Nike further issued an apology stating, “Purely and simply, we made a mistake. That ad should never have been approved, much less written, and we are examining our internal approval system to make sure such a mistake does not happen again.” The company noted its long history of honoring and celebrating the athletic goals of people of all abilities and recalled Nike founder Bill Bowerman’s belief that “if you have a body. you are an athlete.” The ad agency stated that “we have hurt a group of people for whom we have enormous admiration.
” This did not sit well with Rory Cooper, the chair of the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, who has been using a wheelchair for 20 years. “I don’t want to be viewed as courageous just by getting through the day,” he said. “I work and have a family just like you. Nobody calls you a hero just for getting up in the morning.” He added that Nike just “went from one extreme to the other. They just don’t get it. They still don’t get it.”15 Critical Thinking Do you agree or disagree with Rory Cooper’s response to the ad agency’s apology? Why or why not? Get Operations Management homework help today