The American Kennel Club (AKC) was disturbed to learn that Nike, Inc., a major competitive sports and fitness company, has recently begun airing a national television ad promoting a new basketball shoe, which depicts a dog fight-like scene between a Rottweiler and a mixed breed. The dogs are leashed but are clearly seen baring their teeth and lunging at each other in a vicious manner. The AKC feels this advertisement glorifies dog fighting, which is illegal in all 50 states, and also unfairly characterizes the two breeds that are portrayed. It is extremely irresponsible of Nike to air this ad considering that dog fighting is still an enormous problem in many communities.
Upon learning about the ad, the AKC wrote to Nike's President/CEO/Chairman, Philip T. Knight, and VP, Brand Communications, Richard E. Anguilla, to request that the television ad be modified and the scene of the dogs removed.