Blackspot billboard ad rejected - by Nike?

Looks like Adbusters Blackspot announcement september 16 spoke to soon when they announced: "Tomorrow, our "Rethink the Cool" billboard goes up near Nike headquarters." Now they reveal why this never happened - the billboard was rejected, by Nike.

we were putting up a Blackspot billboard next to Phil's headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. A classic jam. Viacom had a prime location within spitting distance. And we made a deal. Signed. Sealed...

Then, the day before the ad was to run, our Blackspot team got a message: Sorry, we can't post your billboard -- call our lawyers for details. Huh?

Curious, we called Bob Micsak, Viacom Outdoor's Senior VP General Counsel who gave us the scoop. Sort of. Here's what we know: high-level trademark lawyers from Nike called their friends at Viacom, suggesting they rethink their plans to run our Blackspot billboard. Nike was even talking legal action. Apparently, they didn't like our scribbled 'swoosh-ish' image. How'd they know the ad was going up? "You're definitely on their radar" Mr. Micsak told us. Does this mean Nike is on our listserv?

It wouldn't be the first time the good old boys at Viacom gets cold feet after selling adspace - they rejected the Bush commercial stating that the "spot violated the network's policy against running issue advocacy advertising."

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.