This one will not be among GE/NBC up close and personal stories

This one will not be among GE/NBC up close and personal stories

Post by Ariel Mazzarel » Wed, 24 Jul 1996 04:00:00


I understand that Nike (or was it Reebok? like it matters) manufactures those
$100 tennis shoes in Indonesia, where the workers are paid on a wage scale
that begins at $2/day. Various humiliating labor practices are used, of
course--one of them involves telling the females to strip down so as to verify
the status of their menstrual cycle.

I suppose that Nike needs the extra $ so as to plaster itself all over our
Olympic experience.

Do you suppose GE/NBC would carry a story like that one, about one of its
sponsors? Do you expect Bob Costas will make a snide remark as the USA team
parades during the closing ceremonies, saying something along the lines of
"most of these athletes rent themselves out for pennies on the dollar once
every four years so that corporations like Nike, Coca Cola and GE/NBC can make
billions of dollars"?

Ariel

 
 
 

This one will not be among GE/NBC up close and personal stories

Post by Howard Hamilto » Wed, 24 Jul 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> Do you suppose GE/NBC would carry a story like that one, about one of its
> sponsors? Do you expect Bob Costas will make a snide remark as the USA team
> parades during the closing ceremonies, saying something along the lines of
> "most of these athletes rent themselves out for pennies on the dollar once
> every four years so that corporations like Nike, Coca Cola and GE/NBC can make
> billions of dollars"?

I'd give it the same chance as any story on the IBM results fiasco when every
other NBC Olympic commerical features the company.  And they papered over the
Janet Evans whine-fest very nicely, with Cadillac commercials featuring...Janet!

-HHH

--

"Halftime is just a reminder of what life is like without football."
  - UK Coca-Cola adverti***t

 
 
 

This one will not be among GE/NBC up close and personal stories

Post by eyle.. » Thu, 25 Jul 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

> I understand that Nike (or was it Reebok? like it matters) manufactures those
> $100 tennis shoes in Indonesia, where the workers are paid on a wage scale
> that begins at $2/day. Various humiliating labor practices are used, of
> course--one of them involves telling the females to strip down so as to verify
> the status of their menstrual cycle.

> I suppose that Nike needs the extra $ so as to plaster itself all over our
> Olympic experience.

> Do you suppose GE/NBC would carry a story like that one, about one of its
> sponsors? Do you expect Bob Costas will make a snide remark as the USA team
> parades during the closing ceremonies, saying something along the lines of
> "most of these athletes rent themselves out for pennies on the dollar once
> every four years so that corporations like Nike, Coca Cola and GE/NBC can make
> billions of dollars"?

> Ariel

I think it is as appalling as you do.  But are you suggesting that
America should be in charge of working conditions in other countries?

j

 
 
 

This one will not be among GE/NBC up close and personal stories

Post by Ariel Mazzarel » Thu, 25 Jul 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>I think it is as appalling as you do.  But are you suggesting that
>America should be in charge of working conditions in other countries?

Now hold on a sec. I think you are pushing my words down a path that ends like
this: when a government says stuff like "let the workers own the factories",
the US government sends the Marines; when a government says "one body, one
day, one dollar", these megacorps (largely, though not exclusively based in
the US) send $. Ergo, your question has already been answered affirmatively.

That was not the path that I intended. In particular, I did not intend to
suggest that America and the USA are the same entity, nor that GE, Coca Cola,
Nike, etc. are "American" in the way that you or I may be.

Suppose I go down to the local bookstore and you buy the latest issue of some
magazine called "Kiddyrape"--or better yet, sign up for a subscription (for
the friendly law enforcement agent reading this, I'm making it up, as far as I
know there is no such magazine); then those dollars would contribute to the
*** exploitation of children, and I would be a hypocrite if I denied it.
That is what I am talking about--somebody is using our dollars to build a
machine in a poor country, exploit the locals, ship the product here, and sell
it to us at an ***ly inflated price using, among other tools, the
hijacking of the Olympics from all viewers (even those that would never buy
their products). Forget all this ***about a free market, because the major
retail outlets stick to these major brands based in part on the power of
advertising.

What is the power of advertising? It is what makes people react to a Nike
tennis shoe with a mental image of Michael Jordan, rather than an Indonesian
woman being stripped to verify the status of her menstrual cycle.

Now since you asked, I am suggesting that we should not be funding these types
of labor practices; since these corps use the Olympics as their showcase, it
seems only fitting that we should examine what they have done with those
Olympics (basically, ruined them), and extrapolate from there. If they treat
the consumer in that manner--"Sorry, you cannot watch the Olympics, but here
is a nice ad for you"--imagine how they treat the underlings at the factory.
You still feel like giving them your money?

The process whereby we will get rid of the aforementioned abuse will not be
all that simple. A point of departure could be to acknowledge that it occurs,
that it is a thing that should be changed, and that to the extent that we have
a marketplace choice, that we should choose accordingly. That is only a point
of departure, of course. I prefer to leave the discussion of where to go from
there for another thread, probably on another newsgroup.

So for now I'll just observe that the day when becoming an official Olympic
sponsor is a bad business decision will be a good day.

Ariel