It was Jo’s idea, I have to say. (Incidentally, I don’t know Jo, we just ‘met’ through Twitter because of this business.) She wrote first, and I felt that was a good thing to do so I wrote too, in support.
But I kind of imagined Nike would maintain a diplomatic silence. Why get drawn into this nasty business at all? After all, I assumed everyone would have guessed that it was nothing to do with them.
I was wrong on both counts. To take the latter assumption first, I met a friend yesterday for lunch, who it turned out had seen the article too.
She was appalled that Nike ‘would have allowed this to happen.’ I explained that it had nothing to do with Nike, but her reaction made me wonder if the project wasn’t more potentially damaging for their brand than I’d anticipated.
Separately, Nike themselves proved me wrong in my first assumption. Jo and I got a swift reply from Ryan Greenwood, Communications Director at Nike UK and Ireland. He’s also given me permission to quote him, so here’s what he said:
‘Nike has no association with either One Minute Briefs or The Drum, who created and managed the “Chip Shop Challenge” competition. We consider the subject matter of this competition to be offensive and insensitive.’
The slight, and understandable, confusion about the organisations involved aside, I’d say that’s pretty unequivocal.
So, The Drum et al, there you go. Among those who, in your weasel words, ‘may deem the brief and the work in bad taste’, you can include the very brand you so cynically co–opted for this sordid little bit of sub–playground nastiness. Great work. Well done.