Adbusters is launching a curious venture: they're going head-to-head with sweatshop kingpin Nike by producing an "unbranded" athletic shoe. Adorned with their trademark Black Spot emblem--the conspicuous consumer's version of the blemish of Hogarth's syphilitic--the shoes will be sold through ad copy that reads:
Nike founder Phil Knight had a dream. He'd sell shoes. He'd sell dreams. He'd get rich. He'd use sweatshops if he had to. Then along came a new shoe. Plain. Simple. Cheap. Fair. Designed for only one thing: kicking Phil's ass.
I'm not sure what to make of this. Interesting idea, but...

A $500,000 ad campaign on CNN and The New York Times? Ads in their ad-free magazine? Borrowing Thomas Frank's concept in The Conquest of Cool, isn't Adbusters just creating a kind of "hip consumerism"--where self-identity, whether anticorporate or not, can be purchased off the rack?

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