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Adidas debunks reports of Berlin Fashion Week, assignment of former union leader as new co-CEO
Adidas released statements to refute the circulating reports it has appointed a former Cambodian factory worker and union leader as its new co-chief executive officer. The German sneaker and sportswear manufacturer also said that the press release stating the company is launching a Berlin Fashion Week is fake.
Adidas said that it has come to its attention that several “press releases” were sent out, and those supposedly came from the company. The topics in the release included the co-CEO appointment and the fashion week.
The release also touched on other matters, such as Adidas’ treatment of workers overseas. As per CNBC, one of the bogus claims was giving Vay Ya Nak Phoan the role of co-chief in the company to make sure that it would practice ethical compliance in production plants as he was supposedly a former worker as well.
In response to the reports, Adidas’ vice president of external communication, Claudia Lange, sent an email to CNBC simply stating, “We are not commenting on these fake emails/releases.”
At any rate, an activist group called The Yes Men admitted to the publication that it was behind the fake Adidas press release. The group is said to have a history of publishing spoofs to spotlight how companies respond to social issues. With its latest press release stunt that targeted Adidas, the group hopes the shoemaker signs the Pay Your Workers labor agreement which endorses workers’ right to organize.
“In the wake of several scandals, it seems like it would be a great thing for them to turn over a new leaf,” Mike Bonanno, a member of The Yes Men, commented while referring to Adidas.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that the other Adidas spoof press release stated that the company launched a new clothing brand called REALITYWEAR, and the items are supposedly set to be unveiled at the Berlin Fashion Week scheduled for this week. The company immediately denied it has debuted a new brand, as many consumers were already convinced the new collection is genuine.