Adidas says Berlin Fashion Week launch and co-CEO announcements are fake

A pedestrian walks by a large Adidas logo inside a multinational sportswear shop in Germany.

Miguel Candela | SOPA Images | Lightrocket via Getty Images

Several press releases allegedly sent from Adidas The company said the launch of Berlin Fashion Week, treatment of foreign workers and other topics related to business structure were hoaxes.

“We have no comment on these fake emails/releases,” Claudia Lange, the retailer’s vice president of external communications, said in an email to CNBC.

One of the fake releases said former Cambodian factory worker and alleged union leader Vay Ya Nak Phoan was appointed co-CEO to ensure ethical compliance in manufacturing. I’m here.

Yes Men, an activist group with a history of creating spoofs to draw attention to how companies respond to social issues, confirmed to CNBC that they were behind the release, as were other groups. The group wants Adidas to sign a collective bargaining agreement that protects the wages and union rights of garment workers.

“In the wake of some scandals, it seems like it would be great for them to turn over a new leaf,” said a Yes Men member identified as Mike Bonanno.

Two of the forged press releases claimed that Adidas would be launching new clothing called REALITYWEAR from celebrities Pharrell Williams, Bad Bunny and Phililthy. Her release of the hoax to announce her fashion week debut in Berlin on Jan. 16 claims it is part of a push for a renewed focus on workers’ rights and material sourcing. bottom.

Adidas outlines its stance on workers’ rights on its dedicated Workplace Standards page, which details its code of conduct on worker health, safety, wages and ‘responsible sourcing’.

The Guardian was the first to report that Yesmen are behind the campaign.

The multi-layered Yes Men campaign has also referred to its now-terminated partnership with rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, who has been accused of anti-Semitic statements in recent months, and has issued a “rejection” from the company. Responses to points raised in the original release that provided hoaxes, including “Response”.

— CNBC’s Gabrielle Fonrouge contributed to the report

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