Nike ad too violent for New Zealand

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AUCKLAND -- Nike can't "Just do it" in New Zealand, with a TV commercial staring Australian cricket spin bowler Shane Warne banned after being ruled by the government watchdog Advertising Standards Complaint Board as "violent in a gratuitous and wantonly destructive manner".

The ad, which is likely to be screened in the U.K. and South Africa during the current cricket season, shows a cricket ball bowled by Warne turning into a chainsaw as it approaches the batsman, slashing through both his bat and the wickets.

The ad ran in Australia last year without complaint - probably, say critics, because viewers were Warne fans.

"We had very positive reports back from the Australian campaign," says Nike Australia's spokeswoman Megan Ryan. "We don't go out intending to shock people, that's for sure." Nike's global advertising strategies, she says, have been hugely successful because of the emotional chord they strike in consumers.

Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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