Nike Settles Sweatshop Labor Suit, PR Stays Muted

"Nike said today that although it has settled the suit brought against it by California consumer activist Mark Kasky, it still intends to curtail its corporate PR efforts, including the continued suspension of its social-responsibility reporting initiative," PR Week reports. "Despite the settlement, which was announced this morning, Nike said it does not plan to ramp up the PR activities that had been curtailed because of the pending lawsuit. ... Nike has also decided not to issue its corporate-responsibility report for fiscal year 2002." The suit stemmed from a Nike campaign to defend itself from charges that it used sweatshop labor. Kasky sued Nike in 1998 under California truth-in-advertising laws saying Nike's claims were false. Nike said its statements on its overseas factories are protected speech. The California Supreme court, however, disagreed with Nike, saying its campaign did qualify as commercial speech. The US Supreme court decided not to rule on Nike's appeal. Nike admits no liability with the settlement that will see $1.5 million dollars going to the Fair Labor Association.