Target pulls "stalker" Valentine's Day cards in response to social media outrage

Categories: Target
Target stalker card front.jpg
Target's decision to sell this card created a social media firestorm.
Target pulled "stalker" Valentine's Day cards from shelves in response to an anti-making-light-of-stalking campaign led by Ginger Lee.

Yes, that Ginger Lee -- the same former porn star who brought down U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner after it came to light that the two had exchanged sexual e-mails with each other.

Target caved quickly after Lee and others took to social media to express outrage about the understated and possibly creepy V-Day cards.

The card's message is all of eight words -- on the cover, "stalker is a harsh word," and on the inside, "i prefer valentine." But those eight words were all it took to enrage Lee, who began her anti-stalking-card, Target-what-the-hell-are-you-thinking campaign with the following tweet:
In a follow-up tweet just minutes later, Lee indicated she viewed Target's choice to sell the card as a personal challenge, one that she was eager to take on: For Lee, stalking is nothing to make light of. She told Forbes she's been stalked the past two years by a man who "went from friend to if-I-can't-have-you-no-one-can."

About 3.4 million people over age 18 are stalked each year in America. Thirty percent of victims are targeted by current or former intimate partners.

Target first posted the card on Tumblr Wednesday, and the Lee-driven social media firestorm began shortly thereafter. Comments objecting to the card were posted, and in some cases deleted, on Target's Facebook page and Twitter feed. A petition drive began to get the "sinister and ugly" cards removed from store shelves.

By yesterday, Target decided to pull the cards. In an e-mail to Forbes, company spokesperson Kristy Welker explained the company's decision thusly:
Target stalker card inside.jpg
Armed with a Sharpie, you could make this card in about 10 seconds.
It is never our intent to offend guests with the products we offer and we take feedback from guests very seriously. We immediately made the decision to remove this card from our selection. There may be stores that still have this card on the sales floor. If a guest sees this card in a store, they can notify a team member who can remove it from the sales floor.
Sure, Target's decision to stock the card was ill-advised -- but isn't it equally absurd that retailers can charge good money for a card that looks like it was designed quicker than you can say "Anthony Weiner"?

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20 comments
ST Paul Tree Removal
ST Paul Tree Removal

 Once you have the falling direction planned out, you should climb up the tree and tie two long ropes near the top. Anchor them on the opposite side of the one that you want it to fall towards. This will allow you to adjust the direction the tree is being lowered in, just in case it starts leaning towards anything it could destroy.

ST Paul Tree Removal
ST Paul Tree Removal

 Once you have the falling direction planned out, you should climb up the tree and tie two long ropes near the top. Anchor them on the opposite side of the one that you want it to fall towards. This will allow you to adjust the direction the tree is being lowered in, just in case it starts leaning towards anything it could destroy.

Jones
Jones

go back to blowing lee !!!

J
J

Having solved all other problems, whining remorseful porn-star takes to the cyberworld to prevent the horrid injustices of a bad joke.

Sorry you hate yourself for your past career choices, "Ginger". Contrary to the whining, complaining electricity buzzing through the neurons in your pea-sized mind, that doesn't exactly give you the ground to get hyper-sensitive and moralistic with every other human expression on the planet--no matter how tasteless it may be.

Me
Me

I would like City Pages to know I find this author to be horrific.  Is there no editorial oversight on this blog?  While i am not opposed to the interjection of humor or wit into an article, this author in particular writes his articles like they are posts to his own personal blog.  I would appreciate more reporting of the facts and perhaps even the point of view or comments of community members or the relevant people in the aritcle, but i could care less about his point of view and find his remarks in all his articles to be juvenile and sometimes even insulting.  I know the city pages isnt the washington post, but this is a bit rediculous.

Becky
Becky

Ugh, stories like this make me very upset because it trivializes the feelings of actual stalking victims who receive "non-threatening" messaging from their stalkers all the time.  Like when the media gets hold of a story about how a restraining order is violated by a seemingly non-threatening Facebook post which causes the Respondent/Stalker to get arrested.  Stalkers often do non-threatening, non-illegal things.  Except they do them all the time, after being told repeatedly by the victim and possibly law enforcement to STOP.

Can we have a sense of humor about horrible, tragic things in life?  Absolutely.  In the right hands, intelligent satire is delightful.  Should that humor be made by what is a really stupid, not very funny card mass-produced by Target?  Nope.   

Heather
Heather

I'm glad it got pulled. This sort of thing minimizes the problem of stalking. As a result, stalkers may feel validated in their actions, victims may feel triggered and self-blaming, and the general public doesn't take this issue seriously. I work with victims of violence like stalking and it's not a joke, but all too often I hear people say "oh, that's so sweet that he calls you 10 times a day!" or "you should be flattered that such a great guy is paying you so much attention." Comments like these and cards like the one in this article serve only to ignore the problem. 

guest
guest

As a former corporate target employee, the response they gave is a 'canned' response with the subject matter of 'greeting card's inserted into it. The honestly don't really care. Target will cave to anything if a few people make a big deal about it....it's just what they do to maintain a 'good public image's whether ethical or not....

Guy
Guy

If people actually made the effort to go down to Target Headquarters and voice their righteous indignation in person, then maybe we could take them seriously, but posting a few sentences on the internet is the easiest shit to do--I'm doing it right now, see? And yet for some reason businesses think they need to cave every time a few prudes make a stink on Twitter, not realizing that if they just ignore it, some other "controversy" will take its place by the end of the day.

Chris
Chris

It's a funny card. Apparently people that haven't been a victim of stalking aren't allowed to have a sense of humor.

Not Me
Not Me

Learn to spell, moron.

Guy
Guy

is this some sort of prose poem?

Therandomklutz
Therandomklutz

She Didn't just post a few sentences on twitter. She Petitioned and fought kicking and screaming to get target to pull the cards

Lauren Kokott
Lauren Kokott

So if I were a recovering alcoholic, then should they pull all the cards referencing alcohol? You girls should be petitioning the cards with sexual innuendos, too...for those victims of sexual violence. And what about those kids that have been burned by cigarettes or candles in violent acts by their parents...pull all cards with candles. I lost my first baby, please pull all cards referencing babies. Actually just pull all cards with letters or words...because they're bound to offend SOMEONE!I bought this stalker card and i LOVE it!!! And so does my stalkEE...

Lheimkes68
Lheimkes68

 o.k.. but now imagine you got that card from a stalker....creepy. and also it's not really all that funny. you're funny barometer is shallow.

T Blackford
T Blackford

I don't think that the valentine's day card industry is known for its wit. This is as funny as the lord of the rings ones that say 'I want you all to my elf' or whatever (OK, I made that up, and it was funny. I need to write cards).

Chris
Chris

Or I just took the stick out of my ass.

This is an unfortunate decision by Target, now I have to make handmade stalker cards.

Guy
Guy

You really think actual stalkers are going to send this card to their stalkees? Come on, man. I'm guessing that one defining characteristic of a stalker is that they don't consider themselves a stalker. Therefore, this would be the last card they would want to be associated with.

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