Target billboard/blogger flap hits the NYTimes

"Ahem! So bloggers don't count!" So said Amy Jussel, after learning that "Target does not participate with nontraditional media outlets," including her Shaping Youth blog. While the flap over a Target billboard she felt was sexually suggestive spread across the blogosphere and Twin Cities mainstream media, it took two weeks for it to go national -- and prove that, despite Target's longstanding policy of not communicating with them, bloggers have unexpected influence: Today the New York Times picked up on the story, asking: "Could Target, the ever-hip, contemporary retailer, really have such a low opinion of blogs, the ever-hip, contemporary media channel?"

Target has gotten attention for the billboard and its blogger policy from publications ranging from Minnesota Monitor and the local site Parents for Ethical Marketing to WCCO and Fox 9. But the New York Times' coverage is by far the biggest. Two questions, then: While Target has assured me that changes in the no-blogs policy are on the way, will this press accelerate that process? And, when a photo of an advertising billboard runs free of charge in the New York Times, is there such a thing as bad press?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You gotta marvel at the Target saturation branding machine. You cannot suppress it. You cannot ignore it. And if you try to fight it, you inadvertantly expand its power.