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October 23, 2008

Burton CEO Defends Controversial Boards

Burton The Free Press reports this morning on a statement from Burton CEO Laurent Potdevin.

In a statement released to The Burlington Free Press on Wednesday night, Burton CEO Laurent Potdevin had a message for his company’s detractors — Burton stands behind its products and has no plans to recall the Love and Primo models that have caused anger in portions of the community.

“We will keep these boards in the market and have no intention of recalling them,” Potdevin wrote.

Read the rest here.

Critics have organized a protest at noon today at the Burton HQ.

Here's the text of Potdevin's statement:
As a result of the opinions of an isolated group of individuals, we want to clarify where Burton stands on our board graphic artwork. We respect everyone's right to his or her own opinion, and we also respect the right to protest. That said, here is our position: Burton supports freedom of artistic expression. Board graphics are artwork, and art can be offensive to some and inspiring to others. Snowboarding is a sport and a lifestyle where boundaries are pushed in terms of artwork, similar to the world of music, video games and movies. From Lange ski boot ads since the 1970's featuring barely clothed women, to the Burton Love series, winter sports have a long history of tongue-in-cheek graphics and advertising. Our product development process is driven by riders, and when some of our pro riders asked for these graphics, we backed them. Burton is a global company, and these boards have been embraced and are a success around the world. We are not breaking any laws by creating these boards, and it is our sincere belief that these graphics do not condone or encourage violence towards women in any way.  Burton's support of women, from entry level employees here in Burlington to our team riders on Olympic podiums, is unparalleled.  We, as a company, are immensely proud of our record here. We will keep these boards in the market and have no intention of recalling them.

Excellent to hear that Burton isn't backing down to self-righteous whiners. Highly commendable!

And it looks like the BFP story and this protest will get them some additional regional advertising, which could only mean MORE sales -- to the chagrin of its detractors, of course. The Law of the Forbidden still rings true.

Your indignant protest will come, and then go, and then Burton will sell its boards as it should. Funny how a "cause" can blind some from that immutable reality. Funnier still how it provides so many of us with such entertainment. Good show!

The economy is collapsing, the environment is being poisoned, we have over 100,000 troops occupying Iraq, American citizens are being held for years without charge, tens of millions of people don't have health insurance, the cost of higher education is skyrocketing, states all over this country are employing paperless, touch screen voting that can not be verified and can not be recounted, the president issues signing statements and refuses to enforce the law, our infrastructure is crumbling except for the parts being sold to foreign countries...

But somebody put a picture of a boob on a snowboard, so let's take to the streets!

Ridiculous.

(Don't worry, Haik, Obama's gonna fix it all.)

I'm just glad that the Liberal Left and the Religious Right can finally agree on something.

Let the banning and bonfires begin!

Lezlee Sprenger is positioning herself to be the Tipper Gore of the board sports world.

If Burton had hired Edward Bernays or Ivy Lee to increase sales of these boards, this is exactly the kind of publicity stunt they would have engineered. Hilariously, these people are all putting in volunteer labor to help the Burton bottom line. Their lack of media literacy is Burton's gain.

There are real live women getting really mutilated in real life on the real planet Earth. They're called Muslims and they live in the Middle East. Their genitals are being mutilated to appease an invisible monster that lives in the sky. Now, that's something that one might get worked up about. It is shameful that some people would rather get worked up about some snowboards that no one is forced to buy or look at or own instead.

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