reebok votes ad off island

Reebok last week pulled a commercial scheduled to run during the May 3 season finale of CBS’s Survivor: The Australian Outback.

The spot was kicked off the island because of its similarity to a real life videotaped stunt in which a Kentucky teen-ager was seriously injured.

In the ad, Houston Rockets star Steve Francis is shown leaping over an oncoming car while wearing a pair of Reeboks.

In the videotape the ad resembles, a group of teens tries to leap over a moving vehicle in an apparent attempt to imitate stunts shown on MTV’s Jackass series.

“Reebok officials do not want to be seen as encouraging dangerous behavior,” said Reebok vice president/brand communications John Wardley, explaining the Canton, Mass., company’s decision to pull the spot. A new commercial with a dancing sumo wrestler wearing Reeboks was aired.

Berlin Cameron & Partners, New York, is Reebok’s lead agency and in January on the Survivor season debut introduced a $100 million global ad push for Reebok tagged, “Defy convention.”