Target is not having a good month

More Target PR ooops! I wonder. Is this related to their Salvation Army woes? Could people be looking for ways to embarrass the company? Trying to find little goofs to exploit and ‘meme’ through the blogosphere? Stranger things have happened.

Steve Rubel points out this unfortunate mistake. But is Target dealing with it? No.

The ability to make the following search has been possible since Boing, Boing wrote about it on Saturday, November 20, 2004 (2:55:22 PM).

Since then, more people are writing about it. The speed of the blogosphere (and the lack of Target’s response) causes them just that much more ridicule (or even damage) each day. Here is the other Target woe that has yet to be turned off/explained.

Target’s site design does not take into account the things customers may search for … and they don’t consider those most embarrassing searches in developing the architecture and security of their site. Since their site is ‘run’ by, the embarrassment is shared by Amazon, too. Now, for a company that lives by the web – this is not good.

Their lack of knowledge (or prep) brings them the same appearance of “ignorance” that Oglivy & Mather experienced at the hands of

Funny, in a way, isn’t it? Amazon and Target have done so many innovative things. Has ‘anyone’ been more innovative re: online commerce than Amazon? I think not. Yet, they ‘are/may be’ ignoring other innovations (blogs).

The link trail on this topic:

Scoble – Microsoft
Boing Boing has the same item for sale … woes for them too?

So, for Jeremy (who thinks this is much ado about nothing), simply put … the point here is merely that Target is (in PR terms) in firefighter mode. They are not being proactive. That is all people are saying.

Jeremy says “if someone bothered to tell them (Target)” then they would fix it. The point is, Jeremy – someone (several bloggers) just did tell them. Target is not listening (monitoring the blogosphere).

Professionals pride themselves on being able to avoid these little ‘nicks’ to their brand/name. Yes, this is a ‘nick’ … nothing substantial. But, it could be. Smaller things have been made into much more before.

P&G’s Logo controversy (scroll down)  | A Snope’s reference

How about this one? Jerry Falwell and Teletubbies.

Now, do those inane examples of something small being carried too far ring a bell? Can you now imagine people – from here on – claiming that Target & Amazon are selling sex and drugs?

If Target were, for example, addressing the Salvation Army flap vigorously with what Snopes claims, “Not only is the corporation one of the most generous business entities in the U.S., routinely topping Forbes magazine’s list of “America’s Most Philanthropic Companies,” wouldn’t their brand be better protected? Yes. It would. But, where is Target? I fear they may be asleep.


One thought on “Target is not having a good month

  1. Jeremy

    In Target’s defense, when they were selling the Kaballah red strings, and got complaints, they pulled the product off the Website within a week.

    What this really points to, though, is not bad PR but a non-existent Quality Assurance Web program, and bored Web programmers. Or, as my former colleague, a Web engineer noted, he wonders which Web guy got passed over for a promotion, pay raise, got fired or hates his boss – should be a short list to find and fire the guy. :mrgreen:

    The more I think about it, though, the less it’s a PR nightmare – can we say overblown, blowhards, Chicken Littles with the sky falling – but more of a wakeup call to corporations to keep an eye on bored Web designers.

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