Target Won't Talk to Bloggers

Target AdTarget has been under fire for an ad that shows a young woman spreading her legs over Target's target. The advertisement puts the woman's crotch right in the bullseye. As you might imagine the peculiar advertisement has raised many questions. You can see some discussion of the ad here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Apparently, Target is refusing to talk to nontraditional media outlets (like blogs) about the unusual advertisement. The New York Times reports that Target told Amy Jussel, the founder of the blog, to go away.
"Targeting crotches with a bull's-eye is not the message we should be putting out there," she said in an e-mail interview.

Target offered an e-mail response:

"Unfortunately we are unable to respond to your inquiry because Target does not participate with nontraditional media outlets," a public relations person wrote to ShapingYouth.

"This practice," the public relations person added, "is in place to allow us to focus on publications that reach our core guest," as Target refers to its shoppers.

Word of the exchange quickly spread and the blogosphere did not appreciate the slight. "Target doesn't participate in new media channels?" asked the Web site for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. Target "dismisses bloggers" commented the blog for Parents for Ethical Marketing. "Ahem! So bloggers don't count!" Ms. Jussel chimed in on ShapingYouth.
Target told the New York Times that they don't currently deal with bloggers but they might make an adjustment.
Yes, at least for now. "We do not work with bloggers currently," said a company spokeswoman, Amy von Walter, who agreed to speak with this traditional media outlet.

"But we have made exceptions," Ms. von Walter said. "And we are reviewing the policy and may adjust it."
An adjustment would be a good idea. Despite what Target thinks there are many blogs that reach Target's "core guest." This is 2008. It is common knowledge now that engaging in conversations with new media outlets is a good strategy. It's certainly a better marketing strategy than putting your core guest's crotch right in the bullseye.

Posted on January 28, 2008

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