Those crazy cats down at Puma!!!!!!

19 02 2012

To return to issue I touched on last week, it seems that Puma are losing their cool; they have cancelled their deal with the Egyptian football federation.

On the surface this seems to be an odd decision. Puma have only just relaunched the Egyptian football shirt as part of their latest cool African-themed campaign.  Indeed as one of the powerhouses of African football the Egyptian shirt was an integral part of the campaign. As modern advertising campaigns are very expensive this seems a very odd decision indeed. Don’t worry about Puma though, they say they had a very good reason;

“Our initial reaction is Puma do not want their brand associated with the political upheaval and subsequent football violence that left seventy-four people dead after an Egyptian league game between al-Masry and al-Ahly.”

You may argue that this is fair enough but we’re talking about a sportswear company here, not UNICEF or the Red Cross. Puma’s decision is another indictment of the imperialism of the contemporary economic system, a system that’s built on the solid foundations of people wanting to make as much money as possible, fucking off when they’ve exhausted the possibilities, and then telling us it’s all our fault when things have gone wrong.

Puma’s decision highlights the self-image of multinationals –  “We are very, very important in this world. We matter and what we say matters.” Looking at this from a logical point of view, it’s difficult to imagine how they summoned the gall to make this decision. Puma are a sportswear company, how can they feel able to comment on political matters like this? Besides why did Puma think that the Egyptian situation will reflect badly on Puma?

Puma’s decision also highlights the fact that the PR/Advertising produced by the multinationals is essentially hollow. Puma prides itself on being confrontational line to society’s mores and values by producing clothing that’s “stylish, yet comfortable, and very provocative” . They tell us that their brand’s essence is a “mix of sports and lifestyle”. Puma are a company that uses the rebel chic of Tommie Smith and John Carlos to hawk trainers .

However it seems that some activities are just a little too provocative for Puma. You’d have to wonder why are they getting all sniffy about Egypt. They like rebel chic and you can’t get more rebellious that attacking the authorities. Puma seemed to love the emotion associated with African football as well;

“The emotion and passion of African football perfectly complements our brand ethos and we are uniquely privileged to be in a position to work with a continent with such rich culture and heritage. These football kits embody all of our brand values.”

Puma’s sniffiness is even harder to understand because they didn’t seem to mind football feuds involving Egypt;

“DING! DING! It’s Round 2010 of the everlasting football feud between Egypt and Algeria. And as the two North African giants prepare to go toe-to-toe this evening in the semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations, each side is desperate to get the upper hand.

This morning 100 fez-festooned, flag waving, trumpet blowing Egypt fans arrived from Cairo and PUMAFootball was there to greet them. Then, just a couple of hours later, a far bigger plane landed and soon the tarmac was awash with two to three hundred boisterous Algerian fans singing their new national anthem ‘One, two, three, vive Algerie’ until the less-than-amused Angolan police squeezed them into the airport. In terms of sheer noise, enthusiasm and silly green top hats, it was a resounding victory for the Desert Foxes.

The fixture between the two teams has a bloody vein of violence running through it that dates back to a match in 1989 known as ‘The Hate Match’ because of the riots that followed. Last year, trouble erupted again as Algeria seized a place at the 2010 World Cup in Sudan at the expense of their Egyptian rivals.

Just to add a little chili to the pot, Egypt are now on course for a record-breaking third back-to-back Cup of Nations. Algeria, on the other hand, have the chance to be gleeful party poopers. Speaking exclusively to PUMAFootball, Pharoahs star striker Mohamed Zidan, summed it up dramatically last night when he said: “If we win against Algeria we get our honor back. If not, we die.”

Multinational sportswear companies really are spiritual voids. Unfortunately Puma are not the  only people using the PR / Advertising bullshit to cloak their real intent. Our wonderful politicians are quite happy to use it too.

Take “Michael Gove, the stupid twat”. In tune with the rest of our wonderful government’s policies he wants to set us free, he wants to show we’re all in this together. Gove wants free schools because we need to set education free of the pernicious centralised bureaucracy, and we need to raise standards, and we need to give people a chance to fulfill their potential, blah blah blah.

In reality you could argue that Gove, and the rest of his Etonian chums, are not about being in this together with us, you could say that thing that motivates them is looking after their friends and donors. You could argue that free schools are not about setting people free but inculcating certain values.

Advertising Bullshit clouds everything.

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30 05 2013
A scarf for your soul?, Part 7* | Llandudno Jet Set

[…] simply transfixed by their own significance . I don’t think we should be too harsh on Puma however as bullshit production is rampant in […]

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