Boycott Watch
February 8, 2004
False Nike Shoe Ad - More Than Just a Sick Joke
   Summary: A fake Nike ad is circulation via email. It looks so professional, people think it's real.
   An email is circulating that contains a photo of a blood covered Nike shoe and a two Hassidic Jews in the background cleaning up a suicide bombing scene in Israel. The text within the photo is: "You may not survive the blast, but your shoe will." The professional looking ad is an obvious fake and a sick joke. The email the photo is attached to calls for a boycott of Nike in protest of the ad, which is presumed by the senders to have been made by Nike, but it was not. The ad is a fake, and is so disturbing that Boycott Watch has decided not to publish the photo.

   Boycott Watch contacted Nike and confirmed our conclusion that the ad photo is a fake. The photo was first reported in the Middle East and Europe in September of 2003, and after a short life, it was thought to be extinct. The fake ad reappeared in the US in January 2004 with an email calling for a boycott of Nike claiming Nike is anti-Semitic as evidenced by the ad. Nothing could be further from the truth. The ad is not from, by nor authorized in any way by Nike, nor was it ever produced by a Nike affiliate, agency, or contractor.

   Boycott Watch has investigated the ad and its origin, and believes that the ad is far more than just a sick joke perpetrated by someone who thinks murder by suicide bombings is funny - Boycott Watch believes it is in fact part of a greater campaign to hurt Israel economically via the Arab Leagues boycott of Israel.

   In 1945, three years before Israel was formed, a boycott was established against what was to become Israel by the Arab League. In 1994, the Central Office for the Boycott of Israel, an official arm of the Arab League, dropped secondary boycotts in the light of a new global economy. Secondary boycotts in this case are the boycotts against companies doing business with Israel, but the Arab League maintained its primary boycott of Israel and products made in Israel. In October 2001 the Arab League reinstated and reconfirmed its commitment to the boycott of Israel, including secondary boycotts.

   Even though Israel has prospered, it does face economic hardships because of the Arab League boycott. Not having the ability trade openly with neighboring countries created a hardship for Israel. When countries can openly trade across their borders, the economic cooperation results in and fosters peace and prosperity for both trading partners, something missing in the Middle-East. While there have been certain exemptions to this secondary boycott rule, the Arab boycott of Israel remains very firm.

   The Nike Middle East division headquarters is in Israel, and Nike has no stores in any Arab country according to their web site. The nature of the fake ad and the preceding circumstances makes Boycott Watch conclude that the creation and purpose of the ad is in support of suicide bombings and obviously also to hurt Nike sales. Boycott Watch must therefore conclude that the ad is in support of the Arab boycott of Israel.

   Boycott Watch has seen several false-flag boycotts in the past, but none as gruesome and horrific as this. Suicide bombings are uncivilized, and the exploitation of such events show how far the supporters of terrorism will go.
Official Nike Response:
From: Investor Relations
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 00:46
Subject: RE: Please Confirm or Reject

   Thank you for your correspondence alerting us to a false Internet advertisement, depicting Nike products associated with political conflict --presumably occurring within the Middle East given the ad's circulation to date.

   This offensive ad was not authorized by Nike and has no affiliation with the company. It was obviously created by some individual who does not value human life and is seeking attention by leveraging our well-known brand name.

   Based upon the number of inquiries we have received from members of the public questioning the ad's authenticity, we have begun to work with authorities to try to determine the origin. Also, we have begun to contact specific non-governmental organizations to apprise them of this unfortunate hoax.

   Again, Nike was never involved in any way with the ad and appreciates your inquiry. If you have any information regarding individuals or businesses improperly promoting this image as a Nike property, please contact us so that we may explore appropriate legal recourse. We also ask that you limit circulation of this despicable image and share this message with others who inquire about its authenticity or affiliation with Nike.

   We hope this clarifies the matter.
End Of Official Nike Response:

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