The outdoor brand said in the tweet that it planned to build free public climbing walls in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver and Brooklyn, N.Y., “as places to unite us.”
The message was part of the marketing campaign it launched in 2017 called “Walls Are Meant For Climbing.”
That ad’s tagline, however, is now a timely topic. The U.S. government has entered its fourth week of a partial shutdown caused by a political stalemate over funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The VF Corp.-owned brand also resurrected part of a commencement speech Trump gave in 2004.
“Never ever give up … If there is a concrete wall in front of you, go through it, go over it, go around it. But get to the other side of that wall,” The North Face wrote on Twitter, attributing the quote to Trump.
The 25-second post also used quotes from rock climbers Monserrat Matehuala, Conrad Anker and poet Maya Angelou.
“Where I’m from there are no mountains, no trails and no walls. Only walls society has put up. I know what I do doesn’t often translate to my family or my community but I climb for them,” said Matehuala.
But North Face customers quickly voiced their anger at the brand.
This is not the first time companies have been vocal about the Trump administration’s policies.
In 2017, outdoor firms criticized Trump’s changes to the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante monuments in Utah. The North Face, in particular, said it would donate $100,000 to the development of an education center for Bears Ears.
Similarly, Washington-based REI urged consumers to change their social profile photos to a “We Love Our Public Lands” photo.
And Patagonia put an image on the homepage of its website that said, “The President Stole Your Land.”
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