Baey Yam Keng: Adidas Ad Distasteful And Offensive

An ADIDAS¬†shoe advertisement with an illustration of a rude hand gesture has become a talking point among netizens, with some slamming it as “distasteful”, “vulgar” and “offensive”.

Commenting on Facebook on Wednesday, Jacqueline Lum felt the illustration of a hand showing the middle finger was “inappropriate”. She could not see how it was linked to sports.

Netizen Kenji Peterpan said the ad was “too much”, while another user, Marcus Yeah, commented that “creativity shouldn’t be vulgar”.

A picture of the ad at Kallang Wave Mall was posted on Facebook and Instagram by Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng on Wednesday morning, reported Lianhe Wanbao yesterday.

The ad covers an entire wall and features a recently released shoe, with the slogan There Will Be Haters. In the background are illustrations of various symbols, such as skulls, thunderbolts and thumbs-down signs. One of the symbols is a hand showing the middle finger.

It is unclear how many such ads there are in Singapore and when they were introduced. Adidas did not respond to My Paper queries by press time.

Interested to know what others felt about the ad, Mr Baey uploaded a picture of it to Facebook, asking netizens if they found it “acceptable in the name of creativity” or “inappropriate and offensive”.

Speaking to My Paper yesterday, he said: “So far, 60 to 70 per cent of the respondents are not in favour of it.”

He first heard about the ad from a friend on Monday, and dropped by the mall at Singapore Sports Hub to take a look a day later while out jogging.

“It may look small in the pictures. But in person, it was quite big and very obvious,” said Mr Baey, 44.

He added that he understood the concept behind the ad, which was to trump negativity.

“But that hand gesture is drawn with coarser lines, which makes it more outstanding than the others,” he said.

Mr Baey felt that the illustration was unnecessary, as the other symbols were enough to get the message across.

“Companies that sell sporting goods advocate positivity and a healthy lifestyle, so there really isn’t a need for this. Besides, the mall is near the stadium and many families come here,” he said.

But there were Facebook users who had no issue with the ad. Marcus Chen said it was fine if viewed from an “artistic point of view”.

“Art is supposed to evoke the senses. But whether it is done in good taste remains to be seen,” he wrote.



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