NEWS: Snowboarder Mag Army Ads Spark Icelandic Wrath

Published May 2007 

ImageThe director of the Icelandic Snowboard Association, Ásgeir Leifur Höskuldsson (a.k.a. Geiri) has launched an attack on Transworld Snowboarding, Snowboarder Magazine, and publishers Primedia in response to the ongoing appearance of several US army advertisements on their websites. The criticism was delivered in a open letter addressed to the publishers and questions the morality of promoting the "US war machine" in influential snowboarding magazines.

The letter opens up a whole can of worms regarding whether snowboarding magazines, and indeed publications of any sort should be more selective in who they allow to advertise in their publications. In this particular case, Geiri points out the obvious contradiction of a snowboarding magazine that promotes various green practices and indeed boasts about their own green credentials  - "we are THE ONLY magazine in the action snowboarding industry to be printed on recycled paper" - whilst at the same time runs adverts for the US Military -  "one of the biggest polluters in the world".

So what do you think? Should snow sports publications run whatever advertisements they see fit, regardless of the moral implications, or should they be more selective? On the one hand, the demographic of a snowboard magazine, which is largely made up of young males, makes it an ideal outlet for US Army ads, and a magazine is a business, which like any other must make money to survive. On the other hand, should the publishers select ads which are more "on topic", and try to practice what they preach?

Snowboarder Magazine's website displays ads for the US airforce, yet in the same shot, the column Joe's Junk, boasts of Snowboarder Mag's green credentials

Read Geiri's letter to Snowboard Magazine and Primedia here:

"Do something amazing, join the army, meet interesting people, kill them!"
An open letter to the people at Primedia and Snowboarder Mag

As a father, snowboarder and human being I am raising my pen and putting ink to paper in an effort to wake you up. I want to wake you up from the moral slumber you seem to have taken this past winter on your website  Click after click I have entered your website only to find you are promoting the war machine that the U.S. military is. As a longtime snowboarder and reader of  Snowboarder Mag I am deeply saddened by your decision to run these ads.
You have been running ads for the military under the slogan: "Do something amazing". These are cool looking ads that make the military look like a summer camp for kids who wanna get high on adrenaline. Do you really want to take part in this all too obvious deception just so that you can sell a couple more ads. I urge you not to take part in this blatant attempt to lure kids to take part in something that could result in serious injury or death.[1]
It is also ironic that a magazine that promotes such brilliant concepts as the Grease not Gas[2] tour is willing to accept money from "the largest oil consuming government body in the US and in the world"[3]. So is Snowboarder just in it for the ad money?
Let's look at the runing of these ads from the "just in it for the money" perspective. Snowboarder/Primedia gets "x" amounts of money from the military for running these ads. Some of your readers actually sign up, go off to war and die. That can't be good for business; losing "y" amounts of customers like that. Global warming is a fact, trust me.[4] Being a snowboarder involves snow (duhhh). Global warming means less "z" amounts of snow and the military is basically the number one polluter in the world. So you are basically accepting "x" amounts of money from people that could eventually put you out of business due to lack of "y" and "z". That does not seem to me as good business so why are you runing these ads? Please ask yourself that question.
Far more important to me is the moral perspective. We are actually talking about promoting war and death. What do you actually think the military does? I mean fighting for peace is like f**king for virginity (pardon my Icelandic). Is Snowboarder willing to accept blood money in favour of ads just to raise their profit margin? Please ask yourself that question.
I am no longer able to sit by and look at these ads without taking a stand. My stand has been taken and as a consumer and snowboarder I will no longer be purchasing or taking part in anything relating to Primedia or Snowboarder as long as you run these ads. I will air my opinion publicly and vocally to all whom will listen.
Ásgeir Leifur Höskuldsson a.k.a. Geiri
Marketing Coordinator Nikita Clothing
Director Icelandic Snowboard Association
Father of a two year old
Human being of 29 years
Snowboarder for 17 years



Snowboarding The Isle Of Fire And Iceland (by Geiri)