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NIKE REVOLTS AGAINST "ANTIAUTHORITY" TALK IN CHINESE MARKET
Published November 10, 1997
The first Nike ads "developed specifically for the Chinese market, star local hoopsters and make earnest appeals to Chinese nationalism," according to Sally Goll Beatty of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. As Nike has been "stung" by critics of its aggressive marketing tactics overseas, the company "is starting to play down its rebel image outside the U.S.," including "doing away with the antiauthority rhetoric" and avoiding its U.S. stars. Nike Dir of Global Ad Geoffrey Frost said that Chinese youth "admire Michael Jordan," but by using local athletes Nike is "letting people know in China we see them as heroes." Beatty: "Still, it's unclear how well the culturally sensitive approach will go down with kids in China. ... Boosting sales abroad won't be a layup. Nike's best-selling shoes in China cost the U.S. equivalent of $59 to $78 -- still out of the reach of most ordinary Chinese" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/10).