Circuit City yanked MAD Magazine from its stores after execs discovered the publication’s recent “Sucker City” spoof. But, before anyone noticed, realising how dumb this was, Circuit City was trying to get the mags back on shelves and praising MAD for its humour.
Circuit City even sent MAD’s editors a $20 gift card and a YouTube ad to emphasise the stores’ ability to take a joke. MAD’s response: “We had no idea that Circuit City even sells magazines.”
Frankly, we have whiplash from the speed with which this non-scandal became a scandal and then was quickly rectified. Furthermore, this all seems a bit fishy. Is it possible that Circuit City orchestrated this whole thing as a publicity attempt? They assumed people would think they would be offended by the spoof, took down the mags, issued a public apology, and then used their contrition as a way to remind consumers that they’re not bankrupt yet?
AP: Circuit City Stores Inc. temporarily banished the irreverent MAD Magazine from its store’s shelves for poking fun at the consumer electronics retailer.
But the Richmond-based company said Monday “some overly sensitive souls at our corporate headquarters” had the August issue removed from the 40 Circuit City stores that sell magazines after seeing the four-page spoof of “Sucker City.”
“We apologise for the knee-jerk reaction, and have issued a retraction order; the affected stores are being directed to put the magazines back on sale,” spokesman Jim Babb said in an e-mail response. “The parody of our newspaper ad in the August MAD was very clever. Most of us at Circuit City share a rich sense of humour and irony … but there are occasional temporary lapses.”…
Babb, who said he sent a note to the magazine’s editors offering a $20 gift card toward the purchase of a Wii, also defended Circuit City’s sense of humour, pointing to a link of a commercial on YouTube produced by the company. The two-minute ad features college students using a mobile video camera to document some classic school pranks.
John Ficarra, the magazine’s editor, said in a statement: “We at MAD were shocked and confused by this entire incident — mainly because we had no idea that Circuit City even sells magazines. Nonetheless, we accept their apology but hold out hope that their gesture of a $20 gift card is only an opening offer.”
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