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NIKE HAVING FUN AT THE EXPENSE OF NBA'S OFFICIATING POLICE
Published June 1, 1998
Nike's Fun Police "soon will take aim at one of basketball's least favorite characters: the referee," according to Jeff Jensen of AD AGE. Nike will conclude its "Fun Police" ad campaign with a 60-second spot Wednesday, during Game One of the NBA Finals, as the Fun Police follow the case of a referee "whose calls are taking the fun out of the game." Jensen reports that the new Nike spot, from Wieden & Kennedy, "may have picked a touchy subject." The NBA is "careful to protect its referees from disparagement," recently asking adidas to re-edit a spot that compared an NBA game to a workplace where players are employees and refs are supervisors. The spot was edited in the final version with the referees role "minimized." Nike's Fun Police spots, however, don't require NBA approval since official league marks aren't used (ADVERTISING AGE, 6/1 issue).