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“i’m leakin’ it”: Wikileaks t-shirt printing and the slogan fallout

By 9th February 2011No Comments

This week marks the week that Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, gets the one seal of recognition that any mass marketed self respecting revolutionary leader must gain: the ‘Che’ style t-shirt. Hopefully screen printed and sold in every flea market from Brisbane to Bangalore. From a Wikileaks perspective hopefully not, as they venture into this online merchandise in a bid to find a sustainable source of funding for embarrassing politicians and making sure we know just how much our governments resemble school gossip.

However we at Indigo Clothing always try and look at the bigger picture, not international political accountability but rather t-shirt printing. And it seems that with Wikileaks there is just as much scope with t-shirt slogans as there is with diplomatic fallout. Already laying claim to your hard earned £20 are winning parodies like “I leak this” (Facebook), “i’m leakin’ it” (McDonald’s)  and of course “Wikileaks: The Revolution” (with appropriate Che/Assange image).

I saw these and what inevitably followed was my own barrage of  cheesy tongue-in-cheek slogans:

– “it just leaks better” (Burger King the ‘Assange’ burger, with transparent beef patties so you REALLY know what’s in your burger)

"iLeak" (Apple's latest device allowing you to leak embassy cables on the fly)

-a “tweak” (a leak via Twitter)

– “there are some things that governments can say. For everything else there’s Wikileaks” (latest Mastercard range allowing PIN-free leaking)

– “just leak it” (Nike’s new take on air cushion technology that ensures you buy another pair of trainers within 6 months)

"finger leakin' good" (KFC 'Assange' chicken bucket with ethically farmed battery chicken)

– “Wikileaks. Probably the best leaking in the world” (a corporate partnership with Carlsberg seems inevitable considering the word’s connotations…)

Johnny Walker "Keep Leaking" (called upon in those moments when you are questioning your will to leak)

The list really is never ending and doesn’t require much originality, so much so that I suspect that Wikileaks might have scored upon a commercial goldmine. It is however hard not to miss the irony in this Wiki ‘non-profit’ leaks venture. I guess in 2011 PayPal can fund a revolution too.

The way I see it is that as media commentators struggle with the broader political implications of the leaks, its impact on cheesy slogan bearing t-shirts can only be a positive thing. And on that note, leak out.