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Misaligned marketing

Dear REI,

As a longtime co-op member and professional conservationist who has worked with REI for years, I was greatly disappointed to see recent news reports of your partnership promoting Ford’s new Bronco. Climate change is the greatest threat to the future of the planet, not to mention humanity. REI has been outspoken on this issue. However, it seems that there is some inconsistency in your marketing, which in turn undermines your leadership. I like most of the REI’s membership still drive combustion engine vehicles, but I think it’s fair to expect better from your marketing efforts. Please reevaluate the direction of your marketing and the marketing consultants you are using. REI can and must do better. Thank you.

30 Replies

This thread apparently made the LA Times today....

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Shame on REI for their cosponsorship with gas guzzling Ford Broncos. I've driven a Hybrid vehicle for almost twenty years and it has never failed to bring me to a treasured destination. WE can't keep putting off our responsibility to the natural environment we all treasure. The time is now for each of us to do our part and gas guzzling vehicles can not play a roll in this.


Like others here, I get it. REI is a company, one which happens to make its profits by selling outdoor gear and clothing. Marketing is a facet of the business world which operates cynically, doing its best to push the right button for each buyer in search of more revenue. In addition, profit in this particular realm often comes into direct conflict with the reality that more users in the environment inevitably degrades the resources that we love. But REI *does* claim to be different, to have the interests of the environment at heart, and for the co-op to publicly support sell something as environmentally damaging as the Bronco, to me is antithetical to its ethos. Personally, I've written REI's management to let them know how I feel. I encourage everyone here to do the same.

I just read about your partnership with Ford's gas-guzzling--24mpg-- Bronco and believe that you should discontinue this ad campaign.  

As a long-time member (number removed by moderator), I am disappointed with this action, especially when I read that our Director of Sustainability, Matt Thurston, was not even consulted by your creatives.  

All actions you take should be through the filter of sustainability.  I think your creatives should get a refresher course on what REI's core values are. 

24mpg is now 'gas guzzling'?, I wish my tacoma got 24!

REI Member Since 1979

Yes 24mpg is a gas guzzler and yes you should upgrade your Tacoma to an EV pick up when available 


Please keep in mind that an EV pickup "when available" doesn't actually get you to the trails, rivers, mountains, etc now. Don't knock someone for driving a truck (probably one of the most useful vehicles ever invented) that doesn't meet some as yet nonexistent standard of acceptability. Maybe someday cars and trucks will run all-electric, but right now, the options aren't all that good. Also remember that every technology has its downsides as well, including current battery technology. "When available" doesn't help today. FWIW, that Bronco gets about 50% better gas mileage than my current truck, so quit complaining.

I am not going to argue point by point why you are so wrong on so many levels promoting ICE vehicles. I am just going to challenge you like I challenge anyone who still think ICE vehicles are still viable. Let us both go to our respective garages. Make sure to garage door is closed now, no cheating. We both turn on our vehicles, me in my Tesla and you in your, oh I don't know, fun little Jeep, one ton duel axel and let's sit in our cars with them running for an hour. Let's see who wins LOL...☠️


My goodness! Glad this is settled!

you know, I don’t think anyone thinks ev’s aren’t the future, but I already have a reliable truck plus ev’s won’t get me where I need to go, that’s today, I realize they’re coming, and that’s a good thing, but as of today trucks get me, and the world’s stuff where it needs to go 

REI Member Since 1979

Wow!  What a way to encourage people to get outdoors/be outdoors.  By recommending someone go perform an act that could kill while ignoring the fact that so many can’t afford a Tesla or many other EVs and still get to a destination.  Working to improve mileage has produced greater fuel efficiency and helped to get people farther away from the civilization that numbs the brains of so many.

As people who love the outdoors, we should do all we can to promote getting people there and also doing things to bring people together.  Driving wedges between one another will not help us in the long run.