Thursday, January 31, 2008

Target Shuns Bloggers

I just came across an article at the New York Times about Target telling a blogger to go away.

The author, Michael Barbaro, opens the article by saying, "Target to the blogosphere: you’re irrelevant." Apparently, Target conveyed a negative messages to, a blog about the impact of marketing on children earlier this month. The blog’s founder, Amy Jussel, called Target, complaining about a new advertising campaign that depicted a woman splayed across a big target pattern — the retailer’s emblem — with the bull’s-eye at her crotch.

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.

The buzz graph below highlights recent buzz patterns for Target, Wal-Mart and Sears. Overall, buzz for all three retailers is trending down over the past two months or so. Target does have a slight increase in buzz around the end of January 2008 which may be associated with the New Times article about it telling a blogger that they are not important.

Unfortunately, I will have to disagree with Target, which may not feel that bloggers are important. The blogosphere is becoming an highly resourceful place where consumers go to find information about companies, products and services. Also, many consumers seek advice and recommendations from other consumers online before purchasing products from some companies. Target may want to "re-think" its position regarding the importance of bloggers. Personally, I feel Target may be better off it bloggers are speaking positively about its brand, especially those who shop at Target.

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