Target department stores apparently haven’t gotten the memo that dissing the Internet and bloggers can be a dangerous game for a retailer these days. And, Target isn’t just dissing blogges and “non-traditional media” they might be claiming they won’t even interact with them. All this over a new advertisement that shows a woman in Winter clothing, spread-eagled atop the Target logo, the center of which appears right between the model’s spread legs. Just what the “target” here is, can be a pertinent question to ask and several consumer advocates are asking just that question.

Amy Jussel of the organization Shaping Youth (shapingyouth.org), for instance, raised her concerns that this Target advert places an unwanted emphasis on a woman’s genitals and points out that it is part of the overly sexualized nature of too much of our advertising industry. Jussel says, “This Target ad is senselessly subversive on so many levels,” and wonders if Madison Avenue types care if “kids’ psyches are being trashed” in this country.

Jussel has also been following other ad campaigns that feature women in spread-eagled poses and pointing out the overly sexualized nature of our media.

Jussel wrote to the Target corporation about her concerns and received this curt reply:

Good Morning Amy,

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.

Smooth move, Target. Does Target not “get” that blogs and the Internet ARE the people that they want to reach to bring into their stores? Is Target completely unaware of the power of the Internet? Did Target not notice that Dan Rather, for instance, was laid low by the power of the Internet?

You’d think that Target would have learned their lesson when they banned the Salvation Army bell ringers from collecting donations in front of their stores last year. That Internet storm caused Target some heartburn.

Someone needs to update the Customer Relations Department at Target that the Internet is not something that you can just blow off and that the future resides on the world wide web!

So, I’ve got a little advice for you Target. Why don’t you set your aim on the FUTURE! Stop imagining the Internet is just a few nuts that no one cares about. Your unconcern with “non-traditional media outlets” may come back to bite you.

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