China consumer TV show pulls up Nike for misleading ads

16 Mar 2017


China's annual consumer rights day TV programme has chided US sports brand Nike for misleading advertising and Japanese brand Muji for selling food products allegedly sourced from a part of Japan affected by radiation.

The state-run China Central Television (CCTV) show, which sent PR teams from the companies scurrying, said, Nike had misled consumers over high-tech air cushions in some of its "Hyperdunk" basketball shoes.

The CCTV show - known as "315" after global consumer rights day on March 15 had earlier named several firms from Apple Inc to Volkswagen AG.

Japanese brand, Muji owned by Ryohin Keikaku Co, was also called out for selling food products in China from an area of Tokyo where high levels of radiation were detected in 2015.

A Ryohin Keikaku spokesman yesterday said, the firm was "not selling any food products in China from areas banned from exporting due to concerns about radioactive contamination".

The annual programme, aims to uncover abuses by companies. Nike had claimed that its sneakers had Zoom Air sole cushions inside, which was not true, according to the broadcast.

The negative publicity comes even as Nike leans heavily on China for growth, in the face of intense competition in the US. Nike is targeting $50 billion in revenue by 2020. Nike's sales in China, meanwhile, had been soaring and had shot 17 per cent in the most recently reported quarter, excluding currency effects.

According to Brian Yarbrough, an analyst for Edward Jones, the fallout from the name-and-shame show might depend on whether the criticism spread, Bloomberg reported.

''One report is probably not a lot to be concerned about,'' he said. ''But that could change if it becomes bigger and you see more press about it.

''Nike is committed to providing consumers with the highest product quality and service, and we will fully cooperate with the government regulators regarding their inquiries,'' the Beaverton, Oregon-based company said in a statement.

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