Nike Rooney Ad Causes Uproar

W+K London have created this advert for Nike. It is up as a poster along the M4 and has also run in a few UK newspapers. Brand Republic reports that MPs and religious groups are not amused.

Stephen Pound, Labour MP for Ealing North, has called the image "truly horrible".
"This is such a horrible image and is so horribly war-like that it can only be described as Nike being crass, offensive and insensitive as they try to hitch poor old Rooney to their commercial bandwagon. Wayne's a good Catholic boy and I think the obvious crucifixion nuance is one part of it, but the aggressive nature of the pose is something we could do without."

Reverend Rod Thomas of Church of England evangelical group Reform said in the Daily Mail: "It's quite a disturbing image and because the paint is wet, it really looks like blood. It therefore brings to mind the Crucifixion to many people, and why Nike would want to do that, I haven't a clue, unless it is simply as a publicity stunt. The trivialisation of Christ's suffering is highly offensive to Christians and to God. This will cause real hurt to people."

"The other aspect of it is the aggression contained in it, bound up with the flag of St George, which you might see as a throwback to the Crusades, which is hardly going to go down well with Muslim countries."

Eight complaints have been made with the ASA.

Of course the folks at W+K London have been posting about it on their blog.
Check out their posts on the topic:
Just Do It
Rooney Controversy
From todays Independent

Comments (1)

  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    "Wayne's a good Catholic boy..:"!!!

    Say WHAT?

    He's been renowned for being a bully on the field. Several times he's been spotted cheating on his girl friend with prostitutes. But hey the Catholics did of course have crusades, inquisitions and God knows what back in the days.

    Anyway - it's a striking image and to me it say dedication to the game - not I'm gonna pound you, you heathen fellow.

    Very strange debate indeed.

    Jun 23, 2006

Leave a comment

about the author

caffeinegoddess I'm a creative director and copywriter with digital, integrated, and traditional expertise. I love sound strategy and great executions.