WTF: Now Kmart’s Into Racism?

From our Whiskey Tango Foxtrot desk

The hardwincing staff has already noted that JCPenny has been accused of running back-to-school ads that promote bullying, while Sears has a lingerie line that allegedly borders on bondage.

(Neither of which, by the way, merited the attendant media kerfuffle.)

Now come accusations that Kmart’s back to school TV spots are racist.

Representative sample:


So that’s problematic . . . why?

From Mediaite:

Screen-Shot-2013-08-17-at-2.18.37-PM-300x198MSNBC Guests Weigh in on Kmart’s Back-to-School Ad: ‘Racist’ or ‘Cute’?

Saturday afternoon, MSNBC host Craig Melvin introduced a story about a Minneapolis-based group of rapping kids, who previously brought the world the massively popular “Hot Cheetos and Takis” song and music video. The group, formally known as Y.N. RichKids, now Da Rich Kidzz, have landed themselves a national back-to-school TV commercial from Kmart that has apparently been causing some controversy on Twitter.

Melvin read off some tweets from viewers who accused Kmart of “racially profiling” black kids by implying that all they do is “rap and dance,” calling the ad “belittling and deplorable.” Without naming names, he said some of his colleagues at MSNBC had expressed similar sentiments.

Campaign Outsider Reality Check™ : The Kmart spots are a takeoff on playing the dozens, a venerable insult tradition in black communities. Which is exactly the audience Kmart is targeting.

So – racist? Or smart marketing?

We’re playing the latter.

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4 Responses to WTF: Now Kmart’s Into Racism?

  1. Curmudgeon says:

    Reminds me of the people who see racism in chocolate swirl ice cream!

  2. Laurence Glavin says:

    If you go to a typical supermarket, you’ll observe that Musselman’s Applesauce has been installed on eye-level shelves, while Mott’s Applesauce is below it if sold at all. Musselman is a synonym for Muslim. So an iconic American brand familiar to generations of denizens of the US of A has been replaced by a synonym for believers in Islam! Never mind creeping Shariah Law, get Frank Gaffney and Fred Grundy on this right away!

  3. Man, do I miss hockey. Stupid August.

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      You and me both, Mick. Luckily, I have tennis. You should give it a try and check out the U.S. Open. Tennis dweeb moment: Djokovic and Nadal are in different brackets, so they could only meet in the final. C’mon – even a tough guy like you should love Rafa, maybe the toughest tennis guy ever.


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