On Politeness, and the End of Target Canada

A few weeks ago, I read this article by Paul Ford about the “unexpected gains” of etiquette and politeness. I was surprised at the snarky tone of some of the reader responses, because I thought it was  a very-well written piece with an important message. Etiquette is not about arcane rules of which fork to use, but about being considerate of others. And the article also gently made the point that politeness can pay off for the polite person, as well as for those he or she interacts with.

A few days after I read Ford’s article, I was wandering through my local Target store. As it happened, this was also a few days after Target announced that it was closing all of its 133 Canadian stores. And at the time I was wandering through, there was some sort of staff briefing going on near the fitting rooms, with a manager and about 15 staff members. I was curious to hear what the staff were being told about the closing, because I’m certainly no fan of how Target has treated some of its workers in Canada, so I pretended to browse the racks while listening to what was being said.

The manager leading the meeting was very impressive. She told the staff members, (more…)

Not A Good Neighbo(u)r: Why Mister Rogers’ Theme Song Doesn’t Belong in Target Ads

The US chain store Target, which will be operating in Canada as of next month, is starting its Canadian ad campaign during the 2013 Academy Awards broadcast. This week, Target announced that the music for the ads will be a cover version of Won’t You Be My Neighbor – the theme song from the children’s TV show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which aired on the PBS network from 1968 to 2001.

According to this story in the Globe and Mail, the Target ad campaign is the first time that the Fred Rogers Company, which holds the rights to Rogers’ works, has licensed a commercial use of the theme song. (more…)