Target Reverses LGBT Marketing Campaign

The major retailer Target reversed a significant marketing and merchandising campaign this week after receiving a wave of public criticism. Fox News cited an “emergency” action by the chain store to respond to public sentiment against Target’s recent “tuck-friendly” swimwear.

The implication was that the clothing would be marketed as women’s swimsuits but intended to be worn by biological men. In addition, the store displayed a number of children’s items, including for infants.

The approximately 15-minute call included directives from the company to remove a number of LGBT Pride-related merchandise and displays. Target did not remove all LGBT-related material from its stores, but the backtracking represents a major shift in its marketing.

The company reportedly desired to avoid a similar boycott that faced Bud Light last month.

Target’s move came just one week after CEO Brian Cornell said during a Fortune interview that the company was “adding value” through a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) push.

He said that the effort was “helping us drive sales” and “building greater engagement with both our teams and our guests.”

He added that “those are just the right things for our business today.”

When asked about the “woke” corporate messages, the CEO said that “those are just good business decisions, and it’s the right thing for society and it’s the great thing for our brand.”

The company did not respond to a Fox News request for comment regarding whether or not it stood by Cornell’s earlier comments.

The about-face came after a major drop in Bud Light sales following a marketing partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

The beer brand faced a drop in sales of about a quarter since the Mulvaney deal was announced on social media. Bud Light’s parent company Anheuser-Busch implemented a number of rebates to drive beer sales.

One rebate posted to social media showed a $20 discount on a $19.98 case of beer. Bud Light is also advertising its own rebate that offers $15 off of certain beer products.