Good and Bad PR: Target on trend, misguided Missguided
9th August 2017
The mega-retailer Target in the US has been praised this week for releasing a range of T-shirts aimed at girls which finally buck the stereotypical trend and are even on the empowering side. The T-shirts, from Target’s Cat & Jack brand, are science and education-themed and encourage girls to be whatever they want to be. You won’t find the word “cute” plastered across these T-shirts, as if that’s all girls are good for being.
One design includes test tubes, the atom symbol and a conical flask (like you’d find in a lab or science classroom), with the phrase “Stay Curious” written below. On the back, it says “Marie Curie… 1st woman to receive a Nobel peace prize… Discovered the elements Radium and Polonium”.
The range also includes T-shirts with planets, pencils, the cycles of the moon and one that says “Future Chemist” on the front.
The Metro just covered the story, as I type this, and it’s also been picked up by a few other titles.
No VAT Waitrose
In other empowering news, Waitrose has become the latest retailer to announce that it will be removing the cost of VAT from women’s sanitary products, by dropping the price by 5% across 97 products. This will include own-label and branded goods, online and in-store. Waitrose follows in the footsteps of Tesco to become the second major supermarket to do this. This has landed the grocery retailer a lot of coverage, including on the Metro, BBC, Independent, Telegraph and pretty much most major media outlets you can think of.
When I was driving home from work one evening this week, I heard a news story regarding the clothing store Missguided. The fashion retailer, which although popular with women is also aimed at teenage girls, has come under fire for a neon sign displayed in its Bluewater store in Kent.
The sign, in big pink neon letters, read “Send me nudes x” and was on the wall above some clothing rails… so it’s quite obvious why it annoyed a fair few people. Twitter user Rachel Gardner spotted the sign and set up an online petition demanding that it be removed.
She said “In posting ‘Send me nudes’ in its store, Missguided is promoting a negative and damaging culture. Instead, it should be empowering young women to value their intrinsic value and express their uniqueness through the art of fashion. So we are calling on Missguided to respect girls and take down its sign.”
Others said on Twitter that it “didn’t even make sense” and asked if it was “really necessary?”, using hashtags like #everydaysexism to express their disgust.
With headlines about sexting all too commonplace, particularly regarding underage girls, this was really poor taste from Missguided.
The sign has since been removed from the store, but not before the likes of Cosmopolitan, the Metro, The Debrief and plenty of other titles picked up on it.