A new Nike ad for Air Dri-Goat trail running shoes has provoked a storm of protest. Complaints say that the ad, devised by agency Wieden & Kennedy, insulted the disabled. This is the second time in a month that Nike has been forced to pull an ad because of public censure.

The magazine advertisement claimed the trail running shoes would prevent the pictured runner from slamming into a tree: "rendering me a drooling, misshapen, non-extreme-trail-running husk of my former self, forced to roam the Earth in a motorised wheelchair".

Nike spokesman Lee Weinstein said the ad appeared in several national and regional outdoor and backpacking magazines this month. The company ordered it removed from future publications. "We have a long and diverse record of supporting disabled athletes, and we're extremely and sincerely apologetic," Weinstein said.

A corporate apology has been posted on Nike's website, saying: "Clearly, disabilities of any form are no laughing matter. We are immediately pulling this offensive ad from future publication."
Wieden & Kennedy, the Portland advertising agency that prepared the magazine ad, also produced the television commercial that was withdrawn last month from Nike's Olympic sponsorship. That commercial showed middle-distance runner, Suzy Favor Hamilton, fleeing a chainsaw-wielding maniac in a parody of horror films. The commercial was quickly yanked after complaints flooded television stations, Weinstein said.

Dan Wieden, co-founder of the firm, said of the latest ad mishap: "We have stepped over the line with this advertisement and there is no excuse for it," he said.