Bloggers? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Bloggers!

Target to the blogosphere: you’re irrelevant. That was the message the cheap-chic retailer seemed to convey in an abrupt e-mail message to, a blog about the impact of marketing on children. Early 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.

“Targeting crotches with a bull’s-eye is not the message we should be putting out there,” she said in an e-mail interview. 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. >>Full Story

Author’s Note: Not travel related but very relevant.

Thoughts// While this story is not as egregious as the infamous Wal-Mart “flog” (If you’re not familiar with it, read about it here), it is nevertheless one that leaves you very confused. For all the buzz about the “conversation economy” and engagement with your audience, Target is apparently not currently using new media (at least blogs) to reach out to consumers.

I concede that monitoring the blogosphere—not completely unlike traditional media monitoring—can be exhaustive, time consuming and unpredictable due to the the difficulty in gauging the honesty, integrity and accuracy of a particular blogger. However the blogosphere is a microcosm of the real world; what people say about you and your products matter; this is all the more important when the person doing the talking (or blogger) is reputable. Not acknowledging, monitoring or participating in a medium that is a real time pulse of consumers is puzzling indeed.

Or perhaps we all have it wrong. Maybe Target does see the value of new media and is using the question from ShapingYouth to spark a firestorm of conversation in the blogs about the brand? Now that would be turning a challenge into an opportunity!

Curious about how Arizona and Oregon monitors online conversations? Read the two part blog, “Tracking Your Social Media & Blogosphere Presence” from the Trend Report in November.

Editor’s Note: We could not resist adding a photo from the ‘The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.’ For more, read the history of the ‘stinking badges’ line on Wikipedia.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.