Last week, The North Face pulled off a polarizing marketing stunt when it updated the Wikipedia pages of some of the world’s most iconic adventure destinations.
The technical apparel heavyweight replaced the original images of sites including Guarita State Park, Península do Cabo, Cuillin Hills, and Serra Fina with its own pictures of athletes wearing the brand’s gear.
The beauty of this arguably underhanded move was that it meant the brand would consistently appear in the top of Google image search results when potential adventure travelers googled their next destination. It’s this kind of customer that the label is looking to target.
The “Top of Images” project generated its fair share of criticism across the internet and from Wikipedia itself. The North Face has since apologized for the stunt stating, “We believe deeply in Wikipedia’s mission and apologize for engaging in activity inconsistent with those principles. Effective immediately, we have ended the campaign and moving forward, we’ll commit to ensuring that our teams and vendors are better trained on the site policies.”