I love Target. I walk through the store door and an immediate sense of happiness sweeps over me, as I scan the aisles for bargains and useless items I don’t need and can’t afford. However, after reading this New York Times article, I’m beginning to question my loyalty to the company.
Amy Jussel, the founder of ShapingYouth.org, called Target earlier this month to complain about the advertising campaign shown above. ShapingYouth.org is a blog about the impact of marketing on children, and Amy believes “targeting crotches with a bull’s-eye is not the message we should be putting out there.” She received this email response back from Target: “Unfortunately we are unable to respond to your inquiry because Target does not participate with nontraditional media outlets,” a public relations person wrote. “This practice is in place to allow us to focus on publications that reach our core guest.”
I can feel the social media community cringe and PR professionals raise some eyebrows by this response. How can Target ignore nontraditional media outlets when bloggers are often consumers publishing their opinions? To think that blogs don’t reach the “core guests” of Target is absurd. Nontraditional media outlets often target the younger demographic upon which Target focuses its advertising dollar far more effectively than traditional outlets.
In my opinion, Target should have its own set of bloggers and a stronger PR presence online to encourage consumer communication and interaction. The company should embrace social media and take inquiries and criticism from bloggers, so they can be more responsive to their consumers’ concerns.