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Caution: This Might Be an Ad

Nike is trying a new outlet for its ad campaigns: blogs. Nike has hired a small company that operates blogs on culture and politics to create a month-long blog, called Art of Speed. The blog “will spend about a month…

Nike is trying a new outlet for its ad campaigns: blogs. Nike has hired a small company that operates blogs on culture and politics to create a month-long blog, called Art of Speed. The blog “will spend about a month showcasing a series of 15 short films on the theme of speed, all commissioned by Nike,” according to the New York Times.

Damn. Not even blogs are safe anymore. I appreciate blogs as the Web’s one safe haven from advertisers. A place to go and read what other people are thinking and reading about, not what gimmick Nike has come up with to sell their shoes. Yes, I know that advertising is what keeps many websites in business, including Technology Review’s. But Nike is crossing a significant line here. I know that those animated banners plastered all over those sites are ads. I don’t want to be swindled into thinking that what looks like an expression of artistry is really nothing but a carefully orchestrated attempt to sell me running shoes. My message to Nike: Just don’t do it!

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