Just Do It, says Nike’s slogan. So US Massachusetts Institute of Technology creative Jonah Peretti just did. Taking up Nike on its offer of personalising trainers with a word in exchange for $50 (£35), Peretti dispatched a cheque and his chosen word – ‘sweatshop’.
Nike swiftly cancelled his request, but he insisted ‘sweatshop’ was not a rival trademark, the name of an athlete or a profanity.
Nike said the order was not processed as ‘sweatshop’ was ‘inappropriate slang’. Peretti replied to say whatever happened to Nike’s ‘freedom to choose and express who you are’? Nike reserved its right to cancel any slogan orders and promptly did.
The beginning of a beautiful urban myth and great publicity for Nike.