Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Little Ticked at Target

 A few months back a number of bloggy friends started a little crusade to clean up their corner of the world by asking Target to use those plastic "thingeys" that let you see the title of the magazine and the photo, but cover up all the words along the side. Cosmo being the magazine in question.

I, too, had been bugged by the mag and felt like I should wage a battle in my neck of the woods. But, to be honest, I was chicken and usually rushed while at Target (a convenient little excuse that assuaged my concience for a while). But as I continued to see the smutty covers, daughter whose reading skills were becoming increasingly adept in tow, I became more and more bugged. So, one day, when I had a bit of time and Target wasn't very busy, I simply asked the checker to let me speak to the manager. She left to find the manager, and I stood there trying not to look nervous.

I was taken aback when the manager appeared. She looked seventeen! But, I calmly made my case. After pointing out the offensive phrases on the latest Cosmo cover and drawing her attention to the fact that it was displayed right at eye level for children, I asked her if she wanted to explain what these phrases meant to my six year old daughter (that came straight off of someone's blog, maybe Mommy Snark, but I'm not sure). She made some excuse about how she didn't think they could use those "thingeys" (I truly wish I knew what they were called), because Cosmopolitan paid to have their magazine displayed in that prominent location and to alter it would be a breach of their contract (or something like that). When I pressed and explained that I simply wanted to be able to bring my daughter to their business establishment without the need to  talk to her about sex after every trip, she told me that she thought that it would have to be a nationwide Target policy in order for them to be used. When I informed her that I had friends (thanks bloggy buds!) who had talked to the managers of Target in their states and that they now used the "thingeys", she said something about how a local grocery store chain doesn't carry Cosmo anymore because they didn't want to use the plastic "thingeys" (which had nothing whatsoever to do with the point I had just made, but seemed to satisfy her). She told me that she would look into the issue. Which I took to be a nice way of saying, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

I went home and emailed multiple friends who patronize this Target, told them my story and asked them to talk to management if they felt comfortable doing so. I know of two friends who did, but they got the same run around. Since then, I have emailed corporate headquarters and snailmailed the local store about the issue. No response and, of course, nothing has changed.

I know I can choose to go elswhere, but Target is literally within walking distance of my home and I love the convenience. I would like to continue with my little battle, but am at a loss as to what to do next. Any suggestions?


  1. I guess I have been shopping alone too long. Target is my get-away place so I have always gone without kids.
    They are a family store so they should NOT have those types of magazines where children can see them - SRSLY!
    I am glad that you were courageous enough to say something. I think things like this are becoming more and more prominent. I was at my local grocery store tonight and while there was not a Cosmo there to look at while I was putting the grouceries on the belt, there were plenty of Hollywood type magazines with women in very skimpy bathing suits and big boobs - Just as bad.
    I think they need to put all of those magazines out of reach of children and teens who are so swayed by these things as well.
    Good going and I think I may have a few letters to write myself.
    If us moms don't do it - no one will!

  2. I think you let them know that you won't shop there anymore and that you will wage a campaign that mothers who care about the smut they are willing to allow will do the same.
    I mean really, what is a safe level of smut?
    I agree, it's so embarassing to be at the checkout.
    Both of our local grocery stores here have the plastic thingy in front of the cosmo.
    I haven't paid attention to see what WalMart does. (I don't get out much)
    We don't have a Target here, but when I do go to the nearby town 30 miles away I don't go there.
    Good luck with it all.
    I may climb on your bandwagon and give ole' Target a piece of my email!

  3. Way to speak up! (I'd like to think I'd be that brave, but I don't know that I would be . . .)

    I don't know what else you can do--I hope someone has advice.

    (Your comment today had me doing a little jig. Thank you so much!)

  4. I realize that I live in a different demographic than you do, but I know that Wal-mart here has the plastic covers. As do the local grocery stores. I also know I've been to Targets in this state that have them. So either the people here are breaking rules, or the manager you talked to is wrong. I don't have any real advice, but... I love you!!

  5. Way to go sis!!! I am proud of the way you took a stand. Perhaps you could have your many friends and family members sign a petition stating how offensive the location and cover material is. Perhaps they are not aware how many of us there are out here that are offended! Perhaps if they knew, repeatedly if necessary, they would think about it... perhaps even make a change!

  6. I think Laura has the right idea. We just all need to speak up, write letters and e-mails and don't stop. Obviously I don't shop with little ones very often, but those books offend me! I don't think we should have to be exposed to that type of thing everytime we go to a convenant grocery store. Keep it up.

  7. GOOD FOR YOU!! And, while I really don't have advice on how to proceed, I applaud your brave stand against this tidal wave of smut! I say, just keep going. I've written many a letter myself, and while I've never seen any change, at least I know I didn't just sit idly by. Yay for you, L!

  8. I've never even noticed that at Target. I'm surprised, given their 'Target the Family' tagline. Maybe contact Cosmo? (yeah, right.) But hooray for you for taking a stand.

  9. Yay for you! I want to be that brave. I am going to write a letter as well and I think we should spread the word around here for all our friends and neighbors to do the same. Maybe if they get flooded with letters they will make a change.