One of my colleagues at NYU Stern pointed out a disturbing article that is fit for a discussion within a communications course. Today’s New York Times reported that Target snubbed a blogger from Shaping Youth who complained to the retailer about its seeming insensitivity to women in one of its current ad campaigns. Rather than provide an informed and sympathetic response to this audience of concerned shoppers, Target appears to have replied that it does not communicate with new media.
Huh? With all the edgy commercials and friendly feel of its stores that it tries to promote, it seems customers who question innuendo within its advertising just do not matter. With all the work and cost involved in television media advertising, is there such a thing as an accident or something that is not planned? Doesn’t the Target symbol of a bulls-eye have several connotations? Since when is it good policy to offend your customer audience and then not want to discuss it? Smells like a potential public relations nightmare. Doesn’t Target realize how online communication can spread in ways far more widespread than traditional, static media?
Too bad my Business Communication course just ended yesterday, as we could have had a field day with this one!