Corey calls for a boycott of Kenda Tyres
28.11.10 by Buffalo Bill
I guess I should call them Kenda Tires, as this is a story that originates from the US. Corey, a veteran courier*, has sent out the following request:
(The offending image also appears on their website, and I have posted it here. No doubt this is a violation of copyright.)
I tried a few months ago to resolve this with diplomatic emails, but my words were ignored as unimportant. Now, I must ask for your opinions and support on this matter.
Marco C, a pretty good guy who messengered in NYC and now back in Philly, had his likeness used by Kenda Tires. When confronted about the photo they used for their ads, they replied that they purchased them from a third party photography company. I told them that a large international company should not be in the business of exploiting bicycle messengers, specifically Marco. (Many of you may remember him from the polo courts and volunteering many hours at the CMWC Guatemala.) I also asked that they either give him some compensation in the form of money or tires. I gave them an email address and phone number so they could contact Marco and quietly close the matter. The Kenda representative scoffed at the idea and has since ignored my suggestion.
A recent ad in a bicycle magazine refreshed my memory about this problem. They still are willfully disregarding the polite request, intending to make lots of money by promoting “commuter tires” with Marco’s image as half of the full page ad.
If you have the time, please send an email to KendaUSA.com letting them know your opinion on the matter. I will not be using Kenda tires and suggest you inform them that you are of the same mind. Let them understand that we, being of a community that uses thousands of tires daily, will not tolerate overt rudeness to its target market.
Below is the polite email that Corey sent.
Hello Kenda USA,
In the March 2010 issue of Urban Velo on page 11 there is an advertisement for your tires. In it there is a photo of a ‘commuter’ cyclist whose face was blurred. Several friends and I immediately recognized the rider as our fellow messenger Marco Creacy. Mr. Creacy did not know his likeness would be used in the ad nor was he compensated for such usage. Being a bicycle messenger who is a very solid rider and all around nice guy, Marco is an ideal model for someone who rides many miles in all conditions.
My question is how a large international company like yours can help Marco with tires and possible sponsorship for competitions like this year’s Cycle Messenger World Championships in Guatemala or the North American Cycle Courier Championships in Atlanta, Georgia? I ask on behalf of Marco because he is bewildered by the whole situation. He is a swell fellow and would appreciate a thanks “for being on the bike” or something like that.
Please call Marco and find a way to give him a token of your appreciation. I am quite sure that he would talk endlessly about your company, giving the highest praises among bicycle messengers worldwide who use a lot of tires in all conditions.
This is an entirely reasonable request that Kenda, having paid for the photo, are well within their legal rights to ignore, which is exactly what they have done. However, I think that Kenda ought to reconsider, given that at most they are being asked for a few pairs of tyres & tubes, and at least, a polite consideration of the request. If you agree, email Kenda: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Corey is a self-described ‘courier’ as opposed to a ‘messenger’