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Reebok on Rights

September 11, 1988

The July 26 marketing column by Bruce Horovitz, "Reebok Walks Marketing Tightrope With Human Rights Concert Tour," was just brought to my attention. The statement that Reebok has asked Bruce Springsteen to do us a favor by wearing Reeboks is completely false.

In fact, Reebok has not and will never ask Bruce Springsteen or any of the artists to wear Reeboks on or off the stage.

All the artists who agreed to appear in the world tour made a decision to give their time and their talents to help carry the message of human rights around the world. Reebok is very grateful for this and is proud to make it possible for this awareness campaign to travel to all five continents.

The reason that Reebok is underwriting this concert tour is because of the company's commitment to freedom of expression. Asking the artists to do us a favor by wearing Reeboks would go against this basic belief and the overall goal of the campaign--to promote human rights.

As I said to Horovitz, "We're a business entity, and for that I don't apologize. But we also care about issues like human rights. So this is not an occasion to blast the name Reebok all over the place."

C. JOSEPH LaBONTE

Canton, Mass.

The writer is the president and chief operating officer of Reebok International.

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