Saturday, December 1, 2007

Target/Lane Bryant rewards for touting merchandise

I read this, and I think what Target is doing now is damage control. They set up on Facebook and MySpace, and have members of those communities recommend merchandise from Target in return for rewards, but don't want anyone to know that those are paid recommendations. When someone thinks that's unethical and posts about it on Target's Facebook or MySpace, her posts are either archived or removed, presumably to keep the secret. Once that is found to be impossible to do, they spin it by saying it was a mistake and worded incorrectly, and then they change the wording to make themselves look good.
My point for making this post is that I got a couple of emails from someone saying she is from Lane Bryant, thanking me for posting about their Right Fit jeans, and wanting to reward me with a holiday gift, just send me your mailing address so we can thank you. Well, I'm naturally leery about that kind of thing, and I didn't respond, and trashed the email.
Then about a week later, I got another email telling me about a free mp3 I could download:
Right Fit has a new song, I Can’t Believe It’s Me!, that invites women to celebrate themselves and love their bodies. You can download this song to your blog!

Now, I don't have a problem with advertising, how else do we learn about new products and decide if we want to try them? I also don't mind linking to websites that I've found that have awesome clothes and products for fat women. But for some reason, and I haven't quite figured out why, this just kind of makes me uneasy.
I don't have anything against Lane Bryant, per se, other than the fact that they don't use larger models for their clothes, using the excuse that even fat women don't want to see their clothes on larger models (and if that's really the case, why does Catherine's use larger models and sell as many clothes as they do?). About the only thing I ever buy from LB is slacks, because I know how they are going to fit me, and I know how they are going to look on me. As for tops and dresses, I won't buy from LB because I can't tell from looking at a top or a dress on a thin model how it's going to look on me (we're talking catalogs/websites here, I don't like their stores much, and that's a whole 'nother rant). I have a humongous rack of doom and hips that don't quit, not to mention thunder thighs that make a storm pale in comparison, so how can I tell what it's going to look like on me when the model isn't even close to my shape or size? Ain't happening, folks. That's one of the reasons I won't download their song to my blog, another is that I listened to it and I don't really care for it (I'm really not into the hip hop style of music, and the lyrics seem rather repetitious to me). Now if they had wanted to do that song more on the order of Free Your Mind by En Vogue, I would have jumped on it in a heartbeat (love that song, can ya tell).
I know I'm not the only blog out here who has talked about Right Fit jeans, so I'm assuming I'm not the only one who got this request? Does anyone have a different perspective on this? I'm open for suggestions.


  1. I think there's a huge difference between actually reviewing a product and becoming something of a corporate shill. I have no idea where that line can be drawn.

    The mp3 thing does seem odd--I completely agree. Now, if we could only figure out why seems like such an odd maneuver.

  2. Actually, Lane Bryant does use plus sized models in their ads(I work in the store so I see them every day). The models are size 14's and 16's. They are on the small end, but they are plus sized.You are probably thinking about the Lane Bryant Catalog which only uses skinny models. LBC and LB are owned by two different companies. It's weird, but true.

  3. Oh, and I think that that mp3 thing was probably a virus or something. I heard something about people sending you spam or viruses through e-mail/ myspace. It was probably like those messages you get about the macy's gift cards that hijack your myspace account.

  4. jbri, I guess that's my main problem. I haven't been a LB store for a couple of years now since the last time I went in and was ignored by the saleswomen, and the LB catalog leaves a lot to be desired as far as models go. Since I wear a 4X (sometimes a 5X) in tops, and a 26/28 in slacks, what looks good on someone a size 14/16 isn't necessarily going to look good on me (been there done that, and it usually doesn't work). It's one of the main reasons I shop at Catherine's and do a lot of sewing.

  5. Probably the same woman from Lane Bryant started emailing me, also, saying things like how my blog is a mecca for plus-sized fashion, and how people turn to me for fashion advice. Keep in mind, I have posted about the Right Fit jeans, but numerous times I have reminded readers that I am fashion-ignorant, and I rarely post about fashion-related topics outside of their context within fat acceptance or eating disorder awareness.

    I replied back to the woman with the following:

    "Hi Krista-

    I'd love to advertise for Lane Bryant and especially their Right Fit jeans. My hourly fee is $75. Please let me know where I can remit the invoice.

    Thank you,

    Rachel Richardson"

    And that was that for the Lane Bryant email spam.

  6. I don't think the mp3 is a virus, it's at the website for RightFit jeans and I listened to it. I just don't care for the song itself, it's not my style of music, and seems a little repetitious, as far as lyrics go.

  7. Rachel, it wasn't a Krista who emailed me, it was someone named Sarah, so evidently they have more than one person sending this stuff out. That's one of the reasons I posted about it, was to see if they had been contacting other FA bloggers and using the same or different names.

  8. Ugh, I hate when plus-size retailers use regular size models for their advertisements. The major upscale retailers (Neiman Marcus, for example) do that. I get catalogs, and I recognize the models from "straight" sized publications!

    I read a magazine called "Figure," and I am glad to see more plus-sized models now!

  9. I just want to say now, Rachel, that Krista from LB is not me.

    Although I am affiliated with Target after having worked for them for 4 years, and my mother still working for them.

    :) The marketing does seem interesting, but it is a bit along the lines of those darn Pay per Post programs so many of my bloggy friends are doing. I know they don't get paid a lot per ad, and I am really getting tired of reading posts about Vacations and Car Repair that have nothing to do with the people writing them.

  10. This happened a few weeks ago, and they weren't offering me a CD, so maybe it was a different tactic. LB was trying to let me know of "insider news and sales" before the sales went public, etc... in an effort to get me to post about it on my blog. They didn't even offer me an incentive to do so, like a CD offer. That's why I wrote back the email I did.

  11. I received the same offer and accepted it like I do the other offers that I have received from other merchants throughout the year. Whenever I receive an email like this on I simply go to the website connected to it and contact the company directly to see if its legit. I'm sure that the gift will be nothing more than a Christmas card regardless I will let you guys know.

  12. Told you guys I would follow up on this. For writing about right fit jeans and giving my mailing address I recieved a 100 dollar gift card. Not a bad return on a post that took me less than 30 minutes to write.

  13. Glen - thanks for the follow-up on this. I emailed them with my address and they are sending me a gift card also. Pretty good deal, and there is a Lane Bryant store in St Cloud (about 40 miles from me), so that will cover a couple pairs of Right Fit jeans for me. I love it.


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