Specialized, How Rude!

Hey Friends!

Davey Oil, here.

This morning I tweeted about being mad at Specialized.

As someone who cares about sexism in bikes, I am used to being mad at Specialized. They make a lot of sexist ads. They even found a way to make promoting their e-bike into a sexist exhibition!

This time, I was mad at Specialized because some of their ads were plastered on one of G&O’s boarded-up storefronts, the entrance to the service garage that we were getting ready to surprise you with when the explosion required that we relocate. Last time I looked, some nice strangers had taken it upon themselves to paint a cute, colorful mural of some jigsaw puzzle pieces on the plywood there. Many of the boarded up and damaged storefronts in Greenwood have been similarly decorated. It is nice! And that was now totally covered by the posters. That’s rude.

8033e9a5ed352c6ae26f65f1eee27e65

The offending ad included, in a large font, the message, “BETTER BIKES COME FROM BETTER BIKE SHOPS.

That’s the only part that I could read from across the street, and since G&O has been closed for almost a month due to the Greenwood Explosion, at first I assumed that this wheatpaste job was somehow a message to us. Crazy, I know. That’s how your mind works when all you can think about is this one bad night your neighborhood had. When I got closer, I realized that the posters were actually an ad for Specialized Bikes, including a fairly sexist ad for a sporty, pink commuter number, titled, “the Significant Other.”

IMG_4491

Like I said, I don’t like Specialized’s marketing. I also do not like the legal attacks against local bike shops and small bike businesses that Specialized has launched.

I tweeted about not digging the ads and a lot of people joined in. It sounds like they all had their own reasons to not be happy with Specialized before this, just like I did.

Tom from the Seattle Bike Blog did his reporter thing and got a few embarrassed quotes from a marketing person at Specialized. The guy calls himself “an asshole,” which is kind of funny. Tom uncovered that the posters were hung by Poster Giant, a local guerrilla marketing team which has made a lot of friends by putting advertisements in places that people wish they wouldn’t, and then being jerks about it.

Later in the day, a reporter from King 5, (on the teevee!) asked me to do an interview about this heinous crime. I loooooove being interviewed, and the shop could use the press, but that’s a bit much. “Mildly angry guy does not like posters.” doesn’t sound like news to me.

I tweeted later in the day that G&O assumes that Specialized and Poster Giant had made another dumb mistake, and that we do not think it was an intentional insult. Because we don’t. That would be crazy and paranoid. Specialized does not know where the back entrance to G&O is, and Poster Giant doesn’t care!

Nobody has retweeted that one. I get that. Being angry is more interesting than calming down.

Still, Tom’s headline, “Specialized apologizes for ‘better bike shop’ ad on wreckage of Greenwood bike shop” is not really correct. Specialized has not apologized. No one from Specialized or Poster Giant has reached out or contacted us. I would appreciate it if they did.

Perhaps a gesture of goodwill, as well? Maybe they could support the Save G&O fund? Or donate to the good work of Familybike Seattle?

What do you think?

9 Comments on “Specialized, How Rude!

  1. I wonder if some peeved citizen spraypainted all over those posters, I wonder if that would be considered graffiti? Are there no laws where you live against this kind of ‘guerilla’ advertising?

    Good luck.

  2. Nice, well-reasoned post. I appreciate your tone. I do, however, wish you’d taken the opportunity on that tv piece, if nothing else to have had the chance to expose Poster Giant’s tactics as well as Specialized’s problematic history. Anyway, well done.

  3. Pingback: Specialized apologises and donates to gas blast cycle store over “better bike shops” flyposter – Cycling Industry News

  4. Good goin’ Davey! Your levelheadedness and restraint is commendable. thanks for your efforts in our community. John Foster

    • Thanks!
      No one had ever called me “levelheaded” before this story. I guess we were just burned-out on fear and anger, due to the explosion, and have been benefitting from short-term perspective due to trauma?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>