Are the Burton Protest and Boycotts Bull Shit ?

Lets have a little reader participation, shall we? Raise your hand if you read everything you see or hear. Next, raise your hand if you only believe things you actually witness. Finally raise your hand if you just generally think most everything is BS. Being 100% honest, I fall in the latter category. After living through enough hype and marketing mumbo-jumbo for four lifetimes I tend to try and see the purpose behind the message rather than go Anti-Chuck D and “Believe the Hype.” Why? Because it’s typical that hype, buzz and word on the street to purposefully send more than one message to the audience who is often a consumer. That brings us to all this chatter about the Burton Love & Primo decks.

When I first posted images of the Love boards last year during SIA I thought they were pretty funny. Now, they’ve just become a pain in my ass. I can’t walk ten feet it seems without reading about a protest or somebody asking for my opinion. My opinion is pretty easy: “If you don’t like it, don’t look at it or buy it. Consumers, including snowboarders, can speak louder with their pocket book than your mouth these days.” But, that doesn’t cut it. Nope, somebody has to get fired up over a few not-on-display boobies.

OK, so I’m just a blargin’ hack over here on the East Coast and my opinion is one of many. I was resigned to letting this go away. Then I saw photos from the alleged Burton protest. I actually got angry over the fact that people were protesting this because the protest in itself seemed so canned and generic. the weak sauce response from Burtons CEO blah blah blah.

Are you honestly attempting to get the snowboard buying world to believe that a protest led by an angry parent group, their children and the alleged oppressed masses showed up at Burton with signs and megaphones? OK, can we just call bullshit on this whole thing? It’s starting to really smell like a cheap marketing parlor trick.

I’ll be honest from minute one I have a hard time that anybody actually found these graphics offensive in a “I must shield my eyes and I’m oppressed sort of way.” If you look back over the graphic history of snowboarding, skating and everything in-between you’ll see much worse. Believe me, I mean way fucking worse NSFW. Didn’t Sims snowboards do a series of boards with porno company Vivid? Did mock oppressed masses feel downtrodden when Tara Dakides and Gretchen Bleiler got all sorts of nude for FHM? What about the Alexis Waite spread from Maxim? As a parent of snowboarders did that offend the Burton Love and Primo refugees? Doubtful unless they were totally fucking clueless to snowboarding before hand. Lets move on and for the record … lookin’ good Alexis!

What sent me from teetering at the edge of “worth talking about” into “time for 3 am rant” was seeing my good pal Shay post up about Vail resorts and several other mountains now banning employees from using the Love and Primo decks while working. Not to mention seeing the lame ass photos from the protest at Burton. On the protest front it appears to be a kind of a joke with a half hearted attempt to be “heard.” Over on the Vail resort side it’s just totally fucking random for resort to start saying: “Nope You can’t use these.” granted some of the resorts are publicly traded companies and if an employee felt offended a class action lawsuit could be filed and nobody wants that albatross around there neck come earning time.

But…

It just feels like we are now in week three of trying to keep this thing alive and somebody has decided to do it from the infrastructure/resort side of the business. I have to wonder at this point is somebody at Burton just snowballing this thing into free press? Was that the plan all along? Create a mock bad press through a shitty buzz agent type marketing campaign? Honestly, by now it just smells like bull shit. Parts of it don’t make sense and I wouldn’t put it past anybody these days to try some lame viral protest marketing campaign.

In case you got to this point and didn’t quite capture all that let me make it perfectly clear: The whole Burton protest and boycott of the Primo and Love decks smells rotten. I doubt there’s a third gunman on the grassy knoll here but come on. Nobody is buying this crap. Are they?

13 thoughts on “Are the Burton Protest and Boycotts Bull Shit ?

  1. I call BS too. I don’t think Moms know enough of the Poach campaign to actually make “Poach Burton” signs. Google “Burton Protest” and see the “signs they propose to make”

  2. Since UNINC boards have a hard time selling,and since this is rumored to be the final year on the failed UNINC project, I feel you are correct. Why not go out with a bang. Help all those shops try and move this product out by building your own “fake Hype” around the product. I have to say brilliant marketing “strategery” on Burtons part. Maybe now those “CORE” shops that were “Allowed” to carry Uninc product, might actually sell a few and make some much needed money.

  3. Hey all. Such an interesting take on our protest here in Vermont. Never thought people would think it is a fake! I am actually the mom, and leader of the protest. And I DID come up with the Poach Burton sign. Pretty good, huh, for a soccer mom!!Listen, this issue is not just about snowboards and telling people what they can and can't do. We in Vermont stand on a great record of civil rights, anti-slavery legislation, and rights for our gay and lesbian community. I am a very liberal Vermonter and really believe in letting people "do their thing." But, I have a daughter and I have a son. And I don't want my son to get the idea that war is right from video games he plays, and for my daughter to get the idea that she is a sexual oject for guys to use. In a country where women still only make 80% of what guys do, there is still much work to be done. And you can google "violence and porn" and see that the two almost always go hand in hand.I'm including below a link to the media literacy foundation's clip on sexualization of women in the media. It's eye opening for guys and gals. Keep the healthy and respectful dialog going!! LS from Vermont (and we have snow!)http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=234PS – I didn't mean to post as anonymous but I'm not a great navigator of blog sites. Peace.

  4. Here are the details from the one's who organized the protest. BURTON PROTEST RALLYTHURSDAY, OCTOBER 23 – NOONSince Burton has yet to respond in any responsible manner to the hundreds of concerned citizens and organizations that have respectfully voiced their displeasure with the marketing of the Love & Primo boards, the next action will be a protest rally at the Burton company at 80 Industrial Parkway off of Queen City Park in Burlington – THURSDAY, 10/23, at noon. We have contacted the police and media and this will be a peaceful, kid-friendly rally. We will first meet at Red Rocks park at 11:30 so that we can arrive coordinated and together. It is only a short walk to Burton from Red Rocks so bring your kids, strollers, and a chair if you want. See “how to” on making signs below. Directions to Red Rocks ParkTurn left onto Rte. 7 South from rt. 189 – get into right lane. Turn right across from Denny's onto Queen City Park Road. Go approximately 1 mile and take your first left onto Central Ave. Entrance to Red Rocks is on your right. Join Us!We welcome any and all of you to please join us in asking Burton to stop marketing and selling these boards. We planned the protest for next Thursday knowing that kids are out of school, and encourage their participation as well. Please get creative with your protest signs! (Some suggestions so far:BOYCOTT BURTONBURTON LOVES $$ NOT KIDSLOVE DOES NOT = PORNCUTTING'S NOT COOLBURTON: NO SHRED OF DECENCYDRESS YOUR SNOWBOARDSPARENTS FOR PUBLIC DECENCY & PUBLIC HEALTHPOACH BURTON!Let’s keep these boards off our mountains and away from our families – and let’s hope for a respectful dialogue with Burton that asks them to withdraw these products! Here are some web links to help us be as successful as possible. And of course, please share this information with your family, friends and anyone else you believe cares about this issue. Nothing beats word of mouth (or email) promotion. We hope to have LOTS of people at the rally!Sincerely, Suzie Debrosse and Lezlee SprengerSocial Activism and Protest LinksExpressing your views via civil protest is a time-honored means of social activism. This guide will help you to prepare and steer clear of pitfalls and problems.Stage-a-Social-ProtestAnd these articles are on how to hold effective demonstrations:Preparing SignsPromoting DemonstrationsLegal DemonstrationsGroups Speaking Out About this Issue Spectrum Family Youth Services White Ribbon Campaign (men who speak out against Domestic Violence) Center for Media and Democracy Girl Scouts Council President Federation of Business and Professional Women Vermont Network Women’s Business Owner’s Network (individual members) UVM Presidents Commission on the Status of Women Private therapists Moms, dads and youth Facebook Group : People against the Burton Love Series Feminist Peace Network Women's Rape Crisis Center The Howard Center Recent Media Coverage CNN.comStowe TodayVermont Public Radio1) Parents raise concerns about new Burton snowboard line2) Commentary Series – Just Say No!Essex Reporter (Oct 9th issue – page no longer available)Seven Days BlogSeven Days VermontWCAX – Channel 3ShredBetties.comBurlington Free PressRutland HeraldWhat You Can Do1. Contact Burton and express your views. Be concise and professional.info@burton.com, 802-862-4500 (toll free: 1-877-313-1977)Burton Snowboards, 80 IndustrialParkway, Burlington, VT, 054012. Boycott Burton. Do not purchase any Burton products including snowboarding equipment and clothing. And tell your friends.4. Contact ski resorts and ski shops and ask them to ban these boards from their mountains & shops. Smugglers Notch 800-523-2754Stowe 802- 253-3000Bolton 434-3444Jay Peak 802- 988-2611Sugarbush 800-537-8427Cochran's 434-2479Darkside Snowboards of Stowe – (They actually carry the boards)2160 Mountain Rd, Stowe – (802) 253-0335Ski Rack 658-3313Alpine Shop 862-2714Climb High 865-0900North Star Sports 863-38325. Educate yourself & others about the issues:Misogyny/pornography/violence against womenFamily Violence Prevention Fund – Coaching Boys into MenWomen's Health.Gov : Violence Agaisnt WomenThe Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality & RelationshipsExplores the impact of sexist, racist, and violent pornographic images and messages on our identities and our relationships.Generation M: Misogyny in Media & CultureHow negative, hateful attitudes toward women and femininity are being perpetuated at the very heart of American popular culture.Teen Self-Injury, Self-Mutilation and Cutting Self Injury.comKids HealthHealth A-Z : Self Mutilation

  5. i know other companies have done this, but i don’t think other companies have the same audience that burton does…as a pioneer and one of the leading snowboarding manufacturers, a sport with much more coverage than skateboarding, i can see why these boards are frustrating people when other examples haven’t. overall, i agree that if you don’t like it don’t buy it. a board speaks about its owner, and if that’s how you want to portray your riding then so be it! i prefer something more creative. sex will never stop selling, humans are too deep rooted in desire. parents have the responsibility to teach their kids whats right and wrong instead of trying to change the world and eliminate everything they deem potentially harmful. if it’s not a burton board, it’s going to be something else teaching them about sex. don’t hate the players hate the game. if the porn industry didn’t make so much money this wouldn’t be an ideal method of marketing for burton, or anyone who uses a woman’s looks to sell something. we can’t really blame burton we have to blame human nature. people want to see dirty pictures. should we protest Eduard Manet’s “Olympia” depicting a prostitute for the sheer nature of it? what about the female nude as a notion of classical art, the nude body of a goddess…that becomes taboo when it gets a sexual connotation?

  6. You really think the protests were fake? That’s really hilarious. This Lezlee Sprenger is obviously misguided, but she’s for real. “Poach Burton”? What does that mean Lezlee? any way, its real and she and her cohort s are barking up the wrong tree. Have you watched CBS lately? Go over there and protest some sex and violence if you have so much time!

  7. Did you guys hear that all the homeowners are suing Smuggs for trying to rip them off in their contact? Some type of class action thing. And they are pulling this nonsense.

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