Did you hear?... TAPS takes REI to task for image in Road Trip 2002 catalog

The Trade Association of Paddlesports (TAPS) sent a letter dated April 17 to REI taking the company to task for an image in their Road Trip 2002 catalog.The Trade Association of Paddlesports (TAPS) sent a letter dated April 17 to REI taking the company to task for an image in their Road Trip 2002 catalog. Says Chris Mitchell, executive director of TAPS, in the letter, "My strongest concern, and I think that of my membership, is the image of the paddler, on page 21, not wearing a personal floatation device (PFD). Of the hundreds of boating fatalities each year, over 50 percent are attributed to capsize or falling overboard. USE of a PFD, significantly reduces the likelihood of that capsize resulting in a fatality. Imagery that omits the use of a PFD is irresponsible and I feel obligated to challenge you in this regard." SNEWS contacted Michael Collins, public affairs director for REI, who told us that the company often gets letters from folks on a variety of issues related to photography in catalogs. "Our goal is to always present things in a way that is environmentally aware and, where it makes sense, people using the equipment in the proper context and in a safe manner. We appreciate his commentary and will take it to heart." SNEWS View: We thumbed through the last several catalogs and found cyclists wearing helmets and paddlers wearing PFDs. In the Road Trip catalog Mitchell mentions, there is even a paddler on page 18 standing next to his boat carrying a PFD. We commend Mitchell for making a stand, but frankly, in the broad scheme of things, REI is doing as responsible a job of promoting the sports safely as can be expected given the quantity of shoots they have to undertake each year.
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The Trade Association of Paddlesports (TAPS) sent a letter dated April 17 to REI taking the company to task for an image in their Road Trip 2002 catalog. Says Chris Mitchell, executive director of TAPS, in the letter, "My strongest concern, and I think that of my membership, is the image of the paddler, on page 21, not wearing a personal floatation device (PFD). Of the hundreds of boating fatalities each year, over 50 percent are attributed to capsize or falling overboard. USE of a PFD, significantly reduces the likelihood of that capsize resulting in a fatality. Imagery that omits the use of a PFD is irresponsible and I feel obligated to challenge you in this regard." SNEWS® contacted Michael Collins, public affairs director for REI, who told us that the company often gets letters from folks on a variety of issues related to photography in catalogs. "Our goal is to always present things in a way that is environmentally aware and, where it makes sense, people using the equipment in the proper context and in a safe manner. We appreciate his commentary and will take it to heart." SNEWS® View: We thumbed through the last several catalogs and found cyclists wearing helmets and paddlers wearing PFDs. In the Road Trip catalog Mitchell mentions, there is even a paddler on page 18 standing next to his boat carrying a PFD. We commend Mitchell for making a stand, but frankly, in the broad scheme of things, REI is doing as responsible a job of promoting the sports safely as can be expected given the quantity of shoots they have to undertake each year.

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