Four out of five people in our official UnBeige survey didn’t get worked up when shown Target’s now-famous spread eagle ad in Times Square. “It’s obvious to me she’s doing a snow angel,” one astute reader told us. Although AdRants noted some compositional synergy a few weeks ago, we didn’t think much of it at all since we’ve seen, oh, we don’t know, bare asses in Times Square before.
But when the blog ShapingYouth called the model’s placement on the bullseye “sexualized ad slop” and demanded an explanation from Target, the focus quickly turned from crotch-placement to the blogosphere. We’ll let the NY Times explain:
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.
“This practice,” the public relations person added, “is in place to allow us to focus on publications that reach our core guest,” as Target refers to its shoppers.
The notion that Target doesn’t work with “non-traditional media outlets” is pure bullseye bullcrap, since we’re pretty sure if we posted something like “Target powers their Design for All website with the blood of 300 freshly-slaughtered adorable baby kittens a day,” they’d be all over us like Deborah Adler‘s ClearRx design.
Of course, we, being the naive non-traditional media outlet we are, just assumed that Target, being ahead-of-the-curve Target, was a pioneer of the new vajayjay trend that is currently sweeping the nation (haven’t you noticed our header?). But at least one person we surveyed even saw Target’s V-sign as empowering. “I don’t get how that could convey women as inferior. You could interpret that it’s the opposite,” says one liberated female. “That vaginas are the center of the universe.”