Each Tuesday I take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target….because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. Case in point is this story I found online about Target’s questionable marketing ethics. It seems that back in December, Target was outed in online blogs and discussed in college ethics classes after students allied with the company were told to "keep it secret" while singing the company's praises on the social network site Facebook.com. In their efforts at social marketing to the college-age crowd, Target set up a group – the Target Rounders – recruited via newsletters to receive discounts, CDs and other prizes in exchange for marketing Target products to their friends and providing the company with feedback. Only problem is that Target blatantly told Rounder members “Your Mission: Try not to let on in the Facebook group that you are a Rounder”.
While social marketing (the selling of ideas/attitudes/and behaviors) is nothing new (the practice has been around since the 1970’s) shame on Target for essentially asking students to lie in order to generate buzz. Certainly Target can find other, more ethical ways to market their products and promote their hip image.
And just in case anyone is wondering…..this blog is in no way affiliated with Target Corporation. The opinions expressed here are my own, and Target does not compensate me in any way.