ShapingYouth recently posted about a potentially offensive ad from Target. I say “potentially” because it’s another one of those that, if you could divorce it from a world full of ads using sexualized images of women to sell crap, probably wouldn’t seem like a big deal on its own. AdRants does a good job summing up the issue:
Ready for everyone to tell us we’re reading way, way too much into this Target billboard that places a certain area of a woman’s body highly targeted by men right in the middle of its signature target logo. But you can’t tell us not a single soul at Target or its agency looked at this and didn’t see a certain interpretation that could be construed as objectifying to women. There’s just no way.
So far, so good. Target’s done a thing. People are discussing it. And then Target responds to ShapingYouth:
“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.”
Which begs the question: who the hell is Target targeting? The ad shows a young woman in young women’s clothes. Are they expecting to sell that outfit to elderly men who don’t know what blogs are? Because last time I checked, the most likely people to read blogs were the younger demographics, and I would hazard a guess that women read them more than men. Hmm. Cover story much? Yep, it’s like the ol’ “we make movies for men because women don’t spend money – oh, the Wall Street Journal says they do? Well okay, we make movies for men because women will watch anything and besides, our advertisers don’t want women watching because they don’t spend money and – oh, wait, Business Week says women spend money, too? Um, I gotta take this call. Bye!” routine.
Also of note: read the comment thread at Shaping Youth. It’s mostly comprised of people telling her that the ad is not offensive and she’s dirty for thinking it is, so shut up. Gee, where do we hear that regularly?