“It’s gotten to the point where I almost think I’ve become a terrorist,” Adbusters founder Kalle Lasn admitted last fall. His anti-corporate zealots make no secret about their hatred of the companies that provide Americans with the safest and most efficient food supply in the world. Envisioning a campaign of vandalism against certain food items, Adbusters’ goal is clear: “We’ll beat Big Food in ten [years].” Adbusters is perhaps most famous for sponsoring “Buy Nothing Day,” yet these enlightened crusaders have now decided to take on Nike by lacing up and selling their own sneaker — referred to as the “blackspot” or the “Unswoosher.”

According to The Independent, even Adbusters’ allies see hypocrisy in their latest endeavor:

The fact that the Black Spot’s launch this spring will be heralded by a costly campaign of full-page ads in The New York Times as well as billboards and slots on CNN has been the final straw for some, and activist websites have seen heated debate, accusations of “selling out” and stories of cancelled magazine subscriptions … the idea of a magazine supposedly opposed to advertising getting into bed with the admen to the tune of at least $250,000 has been a stumbling block. There is also the fact that the Black Spot “brand” has, so far, been built by campaigners taking direct action against billboards and storefronts …

Adbusters’ anti-advertising and anti-brand position has been turned on its head. While Adbusters has a whole campaign called “Unbrand America,” its website promoting the “Unswoosher” has a section called “OUR KICK ASS MARKETING STRATEGY.” Lasn condemns marketers who “arbitrarily zero in on some emotion that means something to young people” and “attach that emotion to your brand.” But when it comes to his shoe business, Lasn insists: “We’re selling real, authentic empowerment.”

The anti-Nike strategy of the Unswoosher “could be repeated in other industries,” Adbusters warns. Amusingly, Lasn admits that he occasionally eats at fast-food restaurants. “It’s very embarrassing,” he says. “But I’m just a walking, talking contradiction. I’m not pure, and I don’t feel like I want to be all that pure.”