Just so you know...I've done a little research and this is not an ad from Nike at all. CMYK is a magazine for artists and graphic designers and the ad was one of hundreds selected from thousands of participants in a contest. I spoke with the Editor of CMYK today and he asked me to pass along the following. Here is a letter from the magazine the "artwork" appeared in:
*EDIT - Also please note that Nike Corp is a member of the Human Rights Campaign and has a perfect score of 100 with them.
It has been brought to my attention through a couple of blogs and organizations that a
fictitious print advertisement for Nike, Inc., published on page 10 of the most recent issue
of CMYK Magazine, has offended some people - namely in the gay and lesbian
communities. Please know that this ad created by an art student is in no way affiliated
with Nike, nor does it express the views and opinions of Nike, Inc.
To offer some background, CMYK Magazine publishes juried work from art students
studying advertising (copywriting and art direction), design, illustration and photography.
The work published in CMYK Magazine is chosen from thousands of submissions and
final selections are determined by notable art-design professionals.
The class assignment in question reads as follows: “The Only Thing Worse Than Going
to the Ballet Is Going to the Ballet to Watch Your Son.” The tagline reads: “Raise a
The context in which I, personally, read the ad was as a rather risqué parody on the old-
fashioned notion that macho guys don’t wants their sons to join the ballet in favor of
playing linebacker for the local high school football team.
As with all “art,” there are multiple interpretations. What determines a piece of art’s
meaning hinges on the context in which each individual brings to the piece.
While I cannot speak for the student who created the ad, or the judge who selected it, I
would like to sincerely apologize to anyone -- and every organization as a whole - who
takes personal offense by the publishing of this class assignment.
I assure you it was not my intent - or the intent of anyone affiliated with CMYK Magazine
- to defame or cause harm to any person or social organization as a result of publishing
this piece. Please know that your feedback and commentary to this ad has been heard
loud and clear, and I welcome more of your opinions.
I hope you accept my apology and, most importantly, thank you for your time and
CMYK Magazine, Inc.