Target hasn’t been winning many popularity points lately with some of the negative coverage they’ve attracted, and this story isn’t any different. The popular store chain has come under scrutiny for their latest stunt, which has some parents pretty upset. Fansided reports that the store is taking advantage of the merchandise being sold to market the upcoming release of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie — which in and of itself is innocent and acceptable. However, it’s their choice of location within their stores that has some people a little perturbed.
Apparently, Target store management in at least one location is taking advantage of some kind of marketing trick by placing adult novelties next to children’s toothbrushes. An image of the display is going viral thanks to a tweet sent by a shocked shopper, but Target hasn’t responded to any of the uproar yet. That’s probably because the corporation has a lot of problems to deal with as it is without focusing on every controversy that surrounds various stores. According to the Star Tribune, Target isn’t doing so well up north. At least 133 stores are closing in Canada after the store’s CEO pulled out of an experiment that provided the big red shopping experience to folks up in the great white north. Apparently, they want to focus on the quality of their stores here in the U.S., but that definitely doesn’t explain the sex toy displays being put next to children’s toothbrushes.
It should be noted that the packaging isn’t really in-your-face and noticeable. The plain black packaging has the Fifty Shades of Grey logo on it, with text, but otherwise doesn’t look like a toy or anything of interest. Nonetheless, it’s anybody’s guess as to why Target felt it was necessary to sell the items side-by-side, unless they are counting on moms to purchase their children’s toothbrushes, only to be enticed by the risqué adult toy. It certainly seems like it would have been a better idea to put the display next to a display holding copies of the book!
This is not the first time Target has fallen under scrutiny for questionable marketing. They recently garnered negative attention over the way they advertised clothing from the new film Annie — an updated retelling of the old classic starring a black child instead of a white child. Apparently, Target felt it was necessary to put a white child in Annie’s dress, which was met with accusations of racism.
What do you think of the latest controversy? Should Target managers be fifty shades of ashamed right now, or no?
[Photo: Addicting Info]