Missing the Bullseye

Target ad Target Corp. recently got into hot water over their response to a blogger, and the response at the center of the conversation/controversy is instructive in what companies should not do when responding to the blogosphere. The story is also a recent example (among many) of how mainstream media and social media have converged. The story started on the Shaping Youth blog, whose writer wrote to the company about concerns over this Target ad. The blogger contacted Target, and got this response:

“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.

Once again thank you for your interest, and have a nice day.”

It’s no surprise that the company’s response – and the story – gained legs and started making its way around the blogosphere, and finally made the leap to mainstream media yesterday on the New York Times.

Side note: I’ve found it interesting that when I’ve talked about this story with different people, most poeple’s reaction is surprise – because it feels so uncharacteristic and out of brand character to them.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Posted on: January 29, 2008
Posted by: Laurel

2 thoughts on “Missing the Bullseye”

  1. Matt Edwards says:

    Hard to believe that in the current market, and the marketing direction that Target takes, they would say something like this. I could see them not participating in blogs, but not to respond to a specific request just because it was a blog?

  2. Laurel Hart says:

    I agree. Also, you never know if the blogger is also a customer, but you’d think Target – or any company – would base their response on that assumption. Would they have responded to a “general customer” who wrote with a concern in the same way? Somehow I don’t think so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog posts

The Power of Communication

“The Power of Communication is an absolutely terrific book on how to communicate and lead in complex and shifting situations…a compelling guide for leaders in business and government settings alike.”

Amy C. Edmondson,

Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School, and author of Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate ...more

Our Team