Mail Order Pride
Perhaps even more so than other sectors of the economy, traditional department store and catalogue businesses have been transformed by the Internet. In their search for viral marketing to youth audiences, some chains have allowed for the dissemination of titillating digital materials to niche markets on the assumption that it will not disrupt their traditional core businesses. This NPR Marketplace story describes the potential costs and benefits to JC Penney of this YouTube video that seems to indicate approval for underage sexual activity in the spot before their corporate logo appears. What's interesting to me rhetorically is how the print materials associated with the Penney's brand have also managed to become Internet memes, as in the case of this regrettable seventies catalogue.