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"Air Phonies" Free Shoes at NikeTown Hoax,WWeek Reprint & Exclusive IMC Response

Clutching coupons for free pairs of Nike's latest creation, the Air Jordan 16, more than 100 Portlanders descended on NikeTown Saturday, only to learn that their certificates were fakes. "Someone spent a fair amount of time and went to a lot of trouble to punish NikeTown," Reith says. "Someone wanted to cause a problem."
Willamette Week
June 6, 2001
by Trisha Miller

 http://www.wweek.com/flatfiles/News12601733.html

Air Phonies

Clutching coupons for free pairs of Nike's latest creation, the Air Jordan 16, more than 100 Portlanders descended on NikeTown Saturday, only to learn that their certificates were fakes.

The light-blue, swooshed certificates guaranteed that the holder and a friend would receive a pair of Air Jordan 16s on the shoe's launching day, June 2.

Too good to be true? Well, yes.

"It's really unfortunate, and it misrepresents Nike," says Kathryn Reith, senior manager of corporate communications for Nike. "But folks understood."

The phony certificates were hard for 8-year-old Hailey Hosler to understand. Last week, she and her grandmother, Carole Hosler, found a half-inch stack of the bogus coupons on the free mail shelf in the hallway of Hosler's downtown apartment building.

Not interested in the Air Jordans themselves, the two believed they had found an opportunity for philanthropy. The duo passed out coupons at Portland Rescue Mission, promising that the offer was bona fide.

The next day, they went down to NikeTown--where they discovered to their horror that the coupons were a sham. "I know I'm just a kid, but I really thought that I did something right by giving the homeless a chance to have some new shoes," Hailey says. "I felt horrible when I found out that it was all a hoax."

As for the coupon creators, Nike's Reith says she does not know who fashioned the fakes or why, but the incident has been reported to the Portland police.

"Someone spent a fair amount of time and went to a lot of trouble to punish NikeTown," Reith says. "Someone wanted to cause a problem."

-- Trisha Miller

homepage: homepage: http://www.wweek.com/flatfiles/News12601733.html

Response to WWeek/Trisha Miller by Hoaxster 06.Jun.2001 12:43

Anonymous

Note: Permission is granted to reprint the below letter ONLY if
 http://portland.indymedia.org is referenced as the source.
--------------------------------------------

Dear WWeek & Trisha Miller,

Thank you for printing the "Air Phonies" article in your June 6, 2001 issue. You have done a superlative job of casting Nike as the victim along with Hailey and Carole Hosler and the people who came seeking "free" shoes.

Why feel sorry for Nike, a company that continues to this day to recklessly abuse foreign labor while simutanously greenwashing their sweatshop image and punishing through physical violence all who oppose them?

Why feel sorry for Hailey and Carole Hosler, who like the rest of the world take everything at face value, including lies and half-truths perpetuated in mainstream media, instead of doing even the most basic of critical thinking, such as calling the store to verify, or noting the "photocopies will not be accepted" disclaimer on the obviously photocopied "certificates" (a detail conveniently left out of the article)?

And most of all, why feel sorry for anyone, no matter their income or lack thereof, who supports a heartless company like Nike, no matter if it's by participating in a marketing survey (part of the flier's "free shoes" condition, also conveniently left out of your article) or by advertising the company logo twelve hours a day (displayed on the "free" shoes)?

At least your article got one thing right -- someone did go thorugh a lot of trouble to "punish" NikeTown. But someone else went through even more trouble to draw sympathy for them.

Sincerely,

Anonymous
Portland, OR

--------------------------------------------
Note: Permission is granted to reprint the above letter ONLY if
 http://portland.indymedia.org is referenced as the source.

Hmmm.... Nike and eight year olds. 06.Jun.2001 13:20

not impressed

Boo hoo for Nike, Give me a break.

Perhaps Hailey would have felt better if she had been handed a flyer that showed an eight year old just like herself who made the shoes she so desperately wanted the homeless to wear.

public forum 06.Jun.2001 21:34

somthing in this field

portland indy media did not sanction this.

indymedia sanction 06.Jun.2001 23:03

yo

no of course indie-media did not sanction this but i could see how that could be misunderstood you know it would be good if protesters purposely did not send press releases to mainstream media and refused on camera interviews instead saying 'no comment to mainstream press. see the exclusive interview online at xxx.indmedia.org' fuck trying to ""penetrate"" into mainstream media lets make our own here!!!!

TO "Portland indy media" representative 07.Jun.2001 09:36

concerned

public forum
by somthing in this field 9:34pm Wed Jun 6 '01



portland indy media did not sanction this.
***********************************************************

I can understand the concern that Portland Indymedia collective might have in regards to the "criminal behavior" that was described in the Willamette Weekly article. But the "response" shown above raised some minor concerns. This is the first time I have seen this type of response on any Indy media newswire.

A couple of questions:

1. Is it standard policy, when representing "portland indy media", to post under the name "somthing in this field", instead of "Portland Indymedia newswire monitor", ect., for purposes of clarification?

2. Also, this comment was not in line with the posting policy that is displayed on the publish page:

"Indymedia is a democratic newswire. We want to see and hear the real stories, news and opinions from around the world. While we struggle to maintain the news wire as a completely open forum we do monitor it and remove posts."

Nowhere does it say that the opinion of indy media can or will be expressed in reaction to certain posts, approval or otherwise. What I would like to know is, if this article fit the criteria for unacceptable newswire articles, why wasn't it simply removed per the public policy?

Thank you for clearing up the confusion.

PDX IMC policy 07.Jun.2001 15:00

ayleen

I was under the impresion the poster was only saying his/her response to Willamette Week was intended t be annonymous but that he/she wanted to note that the source of the comment was that it was posted to PDX IMC.

When forwarding info from this site, it's common to indicate that the info came form this site. It seems to me the poster was only trying to require that.

As a member of the Editorial Committee (the committee that, among other things, enforces the PDX IMC Editorial Policy), here's the policy:

PDX IMC Editorial Policy:

The Portland IMC reserves the right to hide posts that:

1. Are duplicates, we keep the most recent
2. Are obviously slanderous or libelious
3. Advocate critminal activity with a specific time, place and manner