Friday, January 18, 2008

Update on Target and Bloggers - Amy VonWalter's Statement

I'm slowly catching up on this story, and it seems like, similar to the Ford story, there is another voice coming from the corporate halls of Target.

From Minnesota Monitor:

Target spokesperson Amy VonWalter admits that her company has been traditionally conservative when it comes to dealing with the media, and its policy of not talking to trade publications and bloggers stems from that. But following this week's flap over a billboard deemed sexually suggestive by a mom and blogger, she says the company is looking at revising the policy....

Reached by phone on Tuesday, VonWalter told me that workload has something to do with the policy, but there's a bigger factor. "We want to focus on our communications with our customer base and our guests, not on the industry as a whole… That just expanded into blogs."

But she acknowledges that, with the decline in the newspaper industry and more people getting information from online sources, the policy needs an overhaul, and one has been in the works for some time. "In today's media world, we recognize it's worth revisiting."

Further, "we understand that the public is looking for more transparency, both from government and from corporations."

She couldn't determine what criteria -- site traffic, content, mission of a site -- might guide heightened transparency among online entities. "Is it certain blogs? Is it influencer blogs?" she pondered.

Target hasn't issued a statement about the Times Square billboard, and VonWalter says they've received fewer than a dozen complaints.

While there is a valid point about companies having limited resources, the implication of the statement is that some outside inquiries do not deserve any type of response.

For example, while I personally think that my mrontemp blog is the most fascinating and world-shaking blog out there, somehow I have a sneaking suspicion that my inquiry, were its worth to be judged on "site traffic, content, mission of a site" - may not "deserve" a response.

But perhaps Amy VonWalter will send me a picture of her posing as a snow angel. That would at least indicate that she received my inquiry.

P.S. In all fairness, should Target choose to refrain from responding to my inquiry, they would not be the only one to do so. While T-Mobile did respond to my inquiry, I still haven't heard from Ovation or RedBlueChristian. Perhaps they're on to me. :)

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