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An annual consumer rights television show shined a spotlight on Nike, the U.S. sports brand for its misleading advertising and Muji the Japanese brand for sale of food products that had been sourced allegedly from an area of that country that was affected by radiation.
China Central Television, which is operated by the government and can have corporate PR teams running to stave off negative reactions, said that Nike misled the consumer over its high-tech air cushions that were in some “Hyberdunk” sneakers for basketball.
Similar to 60 Minutes, the television news show in the U.S., the CCTV show called “315” as a reference to the consumer right day of March 15 celebrated worldwide, has on previous occasions named as well as shamed companies such as Volkswagen and Apple.
The show, which is two hours in length, contains undercover reports and other segments, also highlighted brands such as Muji, owned by Japan based Ryohin Keikaku, which the show said sold different food products from a part of Tokyo where the radiation levels were high in 2015.
A spokesperson for the Japanese company said the firm did not sell any of its food products from areas that were banned for exporting over concerns about being contaminated by radiation.
The Muji website for China said it had been a misunderstanding as the registered address for the company and the site where food is produced are different.
A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry in China Hua Chunying said that Japan did not given any clear answers about the extent and effect of radiation leaks in 2011 from the nuclear crisis related to Fukushima and called for better transparency.
In a prepared statement, Nike said it sold 300 pairs of its Hyperdunk shoes last year in China, with a description of the product that was inaccurate stating the shoe had airbags.
The company added that it apologized to the consumer and had offered compensation.
Nike added that it would cooperate fully with regulators in China related to their inquiries. The region of Greater China represents more than 10% of the global sales of Nike.
The CCTV show spotlighted fake eye doctors that scammed patients, Baike.com the Wikipedia like site in China and animal breeders that over sued medicines to make animals have faster growth.
The show will hit the reputation of a company hard if it is singled out because of bad corporate activities. Apple had to apology, which is a rarity, in 2013, after it was criticized for its service following the sale of its products in China.