I came across the following AP story today and, after you read the excerpt, I'll tell you why I found it most interesting:
J.C. Penney is sorry and it wants your business back.
The ad, titled "It's no secret," shows shots of women working, playing with their children and doing other everyday activities.
"Recently J.C. Penney changed," a voiceover states. "Some changes you liked, and some you didn't. But what matters with mistakes is what we learn. We learned a very simple thing, to listen to you."
The ad comes after the Plano, Texas-based company last month fired its CEO, Ron Johnson, after 17 months on the job and rehired his predecessor Mike Ullman
Johnson's ambitious changes included getting rid of most sales and bringing in new, hip brands. The strategy was designed to attract younger, wealthier shoppers in a bid to reinvent the stodgy retailer, but it alienated Penney's loyal customers and caused sales to plummet.
The ad acknowledges the missteps and asks customers to return to its stores.
"Come back to J.C. Penney. We heard you, now we'd love to see you," the voice-over states.
The TV spot is in contrast with the chain's "fair and square" advertising campaign that accompanied Johnson's revamp. Those ads were colorful and whimsical and did not give specifics about products. In one spot, a dog jumped through a hula hoop held by a little girl. The text read: "No more jumping through hoops. No coupon clipping. No door busting. Just great prices from the start."
"When you are in a freefall, you sometimes need to call a time out and say, 'Wait a second. We're going to get this under control,'" he said. "The answer may be further down the road as to why they come back."
J.C. Penney Media Relations Director Daphne Avila said the idea for the ad began several months ago after an "extensive" review of customer feedback.
"We want to give customers our assurance that what they loved about J.C. Penney — trusted brands, great style and affordable prices — will be inherent to every shopping experience," she said.
What's not covered by the Associated Press, in any way, would seem to be central to why J.C. Penney was in a freefall. From Lifesite News less than a month ago:
Plenty of companies have argued that natural marriage is "bad for business"--but they'll have a tough time persuading J.C. Penney. After a series of radical decisions, the retailer is struggling to survive a 25 percent drop in sales.
It started in 2011 when the company hired Ellen DeGeneres, a vocal proponent of same-sex "marriage" as its spokesperson.
The choice drew fire from organizations like the American Family Association (AFA) because it was a departure from the store's longstanding values. When AFA's One Million Moms complained, J.C. Penney's new CEO, Ron Johnson, stubbornly dug in his heels.
Then, on Mothers' Day, the company shocked customers with a blatant endorsement of homosexuality in an ad that featured two moms--followed by a two-dads ad for Fathers' Day. Coupled with an overhaul of the stores' pricing system, the stock never recovered.
Now, months after the experiment failed, J.C. Penney has fired Johnson and replaced him with the former CEO, Myron Ullman.
Does anyone think any particular piece or part of the Lifesite news might have been relevant to the folks at the Associated Press? Does anyone want to know why the AP considered it irrelevant?
I certainly would.
I doubt we will.
Doesn't fit the meme.
UPDATE: A friend found fault with my source (Lifesite News), stating that liberals would have problems with a conservative site and wouldn't find anything therein credible. I agree.
So here's an ABC News piece on the subject:
Is JC Penney trying to become GayC Penney, or is it just a smart marketer?
Last year, the company announced that Ellen DeGeneres, who is openly gay, would be its latest spokesperson. On Mother’s Day, it featured a lesbian couple in one of its ads. And now, just in time for Father’s Day, the retail chain has issued another print ad, this one with real-life couple Todd Koch and Cooper Smith, and their two young children.
The copy reads: “What makes Dad so cool? He’s the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver — all rolled into one. Or two.”
Once again, the ads have raised the ire of the conservative One Million Moms, that is again accusing JC Penney of promoting “sin” in its advertisements.”
“It’s obvious that JCP would rather take sides than remain neutral in the culture war,” OMM writes. “JCP will hear from the other side, so they need to hear from us as well. Our persistence will pay off! One day we will answer for our actions or lack of them. We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature.”
OMM has launched yet another boycott of JC Penney.
In an email to ABC News, JC Penney spokesman Joseph Thomas said that “In celebration of Father’s Day, we’re proud that our June book honors men from diverse backgrounds who all share the joy of fatherhood.”
The ad has received a ton of comments online, and Cooper and Koch have heard from long-lost friends who’ve seen their photo on Facebook and on TV.
“Ninety percent of the blog posts are very positive and heartwarming. But some of the ones that are so hateful shock me,” Smith, 37, who owns a public relations firm in Dallas, told ABCNews.com. ”I just don’t know how anyone could project so much hate toward something as loving as the relationship we have with our kids. That photo was just a moment in time that showed our affection toward our children and how we care toward them. Nothing is being shoved down anybody’s throats.”