Monday, January 28, 2008

Missing the Target

Amy Jussel, founder of a blog called with a focus on the impact of marketing on children, complained about the new ad campaign which features this picture.

“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.

Oh. Well pardon the hell out of us.

Ms. Jussel, who described herself as a faithful Target shopper, was not impressed. “Any customer deserves a response to a concern, so I found this to be a shortsighted, ill-conceived judgment call,” she said.

Target does not plan to change its ads.

Aside from the offensive condescending tone of the Target response, I've seen some outrageous ad campaigns in terms of sending the wrong message and being demeaning. And knowing what I know about marketing and the anal attention to minute details, there are very few accidental coincidences. This could be one of them. I do not get the usual sexually exploitive vibes and it confirms my belief that somebody somewhere will be offended by something however trivial. Correct me if I'm wrong.

When I was growing up I recall vividly a billboard for a nearby motel which featured a very shapely young woman in a one-piece bathing suit promoting the motel's swimming pool. As I was only about 5 years old, I was unaware that women's bodies (as well as men's) were actually used to sell shit.

What did catch my attention about that particular billboard was that someone had blown a hole in her crotch with a shotgun. Now that is some disturbing shit worthy of getting your knickers in a twist.

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