JD Sports ad draws complaints to watchdog over motorcyclists wearing trainers

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had received 41 complaints about the ads seen on Facebook and Instagram in March for Nike Air Max 95s, which feature bikers performing stunts such as wheelies and close-up shots of the trainers.

JD Sports said the campaign footage was taken on roads closed to the public during filming, with on-site medical and health and safety professionals present.

An Instagram post by JD Sports (Screengrab/PA)

The ads featured professional rider OneWheelWavey, who has frequently performed stunts at large, global events, the firm said.

The ads carried the disclaimer: “Stunts performed by professionals – do not try at home.”

A JD spokeswoman said: “Our campaign was filmed with professionally trained riders on roads closed to the public during filming, or indoors.

“This followed our health and safety team conducting a rigorous risk assessment that was shared with the riders, to ensure maximum safety.

“We take health and safety very seriously across all aspects of our business.”

One of the JD Sports Instagram posts (Screengrab/PA)

However, one Facebook user wrote: “This is disgusting!! Nike JD Sports you need to take this down. So many youngsters think it’s ok to ride in trainers and tech pants it’s soooo not!! Do the right thing and take it down!!”

Another wrote: “Literally promoting EVERYTHING that gives bikers a bad name. No gear, no ankle protection, wheelies…”

An ASA spokesman said: “We’ve received 41 complaints about an ad from JD Sports. The complainants argue that a model in the ad is wearing shoes that would be unsafe to wear when riding a motorcycle, which is irresponsible.

“We’re currently reviewing these complaints and, as such, can’t comment any further at this time. To emphasise, we’re not currently investigating the ad as we’re still reviewing complaints.”

Tony Campbell, chief executive of the Motorcycle Industry Association, said: “It is difficult to comprehend how an organisation like JD Sports can get this so wrong on many levels.”

Mr Campbell said that as well as showing unsafe footwear, “to promote anti-social and irresponsible riding in an effort to sell more trainers is again quite unbelievable”.

He added: “The industry has some clear self-imposed advertising guidelines where any form of irresponsible riding depicting speed, wheelies, stoppies or burnouts is a strict no no.

“For JD Sports to promote and glamorise this to young people is irresponsible.”

Latest news
Related news