Why Is Target a Blogger-Hater?

Target is one of my favorite stores. They make some cool ads and sell cool stuff for cheap. Heck, we even have Target ads on this very blog. We know many WMAG readers dig Target as much as we do, so we think of it as a service (which may happen to generate a few bucks for our little blog).

So I was quite surprised to learn today that Target has an official policy of ignoring bloggers. Fellow blogger Amy Jussel of Shaping Youth contacted Target about its recent ad campaign featuring a giant Target symbol with a woman’s crotch at the bull’s-eye. (Yeah, not all their ads are cool, I guess.) And the company sent her this lame, generic reply:

Thank you for contacting Target; unfortunately we are unable to respond to your inquiry because Target does not participate with non-traditional media outlets. This practice is in place to allow us to focus on publications that reach our core guest.

Apparently, Target didn’t get the memo about how their core guest is freakin’ all over the blogosphere, reading, writing, and commenting on blogs every day. Who is running their media department, anyway? Probably some old-school flak who still thinks press releases and desk-side briefings are cutting-edge PR tactics. Besides, if their “core guest” is not reading blogs, why does Target advertise with DoubleClick ConnectCommerce, an ad-serving network for bloggers and websites such as this one?

In summary, Target’s coolness factor has slipped a few notches in my view. Maybe the NY Times article shedding light on this ridiculous policy will help change it, so Target will actually recognize the power and potential of blogs as media outlets.

3 thoughts on “Why Is Target a Blogger-Hater?

  1. Amy Cribbs says:

    On a side note, where does everyone weigh in on the original complaint sent to Target – about the ad?

  2. Shaping Youth says:

    I’ll answer that one.

    It’s not about ‘one ad’…Your blog gets EXTRA cred with me, because you’re a fellow mom/Target shopper/AND even carry Target ads, so I’m thinking you KNOW this conversation was hijacked out of its original context on Shaping Youth.

    As I wrote to the NYT reporter initially, “Objectification is a worthy discussion, but NOT this one ad alone, by ANY stretch of the imagination. The banter on this to date has been misinformed minutiae, like one of those bad games of ‘telephone’ as a kid where the message keeps getting further tweaked out of context to become ‘parenting crazies over-reacting’ in a diluted dialog of “one-ad” focus. The larger issue of normalizing objectification via mass market retail and Web 2.0 being dissed is being skewed into a thumbs up/thumbs down opinion-style vote for ‘snowangel vs. spreadeagle’ which trivializes the entire conversation.”

    Target’s ‘talk to the hand’ approach was indeed disappointing, since I purposely phoned to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Yes, I DO question the appropriateness of this ad, and was seeking an explanation or SOME form of ‘what were you thinking here?’ dialog to transpire.

    Being in advertising, it’s baffling to think this concept cleared multiple layers of approval without seeing the risk of it being misconstrued; especially in the surround sound of environs made toxic by the torrent of other messages.

    As I said to the NYT guy, their responsibility is, at least do no harm…the Hippocratic oath if they’re going to purport being a ‘family’ store.”

    And for the record, I did not approach Target as ‘media’ but as a mom/shopper, heading up a nonprofit blog.

    So yeah, they’ve gone down a notch in my book too…I think this has been a nightmarish media experience for both our orgs, and I’ve learned a LOT about incivility, misinformation, and improper contextual framing. Bleh. Here’s hoping Target has too.

    btw, love your blog title–(The upbeat news is I’m discovering some VERY erudite, cool new mama bloggers in my media mix!) I’ll be back!

  3. Thanks, Shaping Youth! I’m glad this weird media convergence brought you to WMAG. We’d love to have you as a regular reader, and a guest blogger if you’d like!

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