Chuck Colson's Breakpoint tells the story of two sets of bad ads, and how two companies responded.
Nike ran an ad on national television during the recent Olympic Games. The ad featured a crazed killer chasing a woman with a chain saw. The message was that the woman was able to escape because she was wearing Nike shoes. When confronted by outraged viewers, many of whom said it gave their children nightmares, Nike executives said they couldn't figure out what the big deal was over a commercial they considered "edgy."
In contrast, Wick Allison, publisher of D (for Dallas, Texas) magazine, ordered the trucks, even then
delivering the September issue, to dump all 70,000 copies at a recycling center-because he found two ads in an advance copy which he considered obscene. (He would not describe the ads, but observers noted that other magazines were currently running ads which linked sex and violence.)
Hats off to Wick Allison! His was an expensive decision, but he did not hesitate. Thank God there are still some in the business world who put doing the right thing ahead of profit. As for Nike, we like Colson's decision not to buy any more of their products.