After a thin-skinned Circuit City exec ordered stores carrying Mad Magazine to search and destroy all copies of a recent issue featuring a 4-page parody of “Sucker City,” someone with a brain stopped the madness. Here’s the surprisingly classy message we just got from corporate:
I spotted the article about Circuit City and MAD Magazine on your site.
fyi, I became aware of this “situation” only this morning, and I have sent a note today to the Editors of MAD Magazine.
Speaking as “an embarrassed corporate PR Guy,” I apologized for the fact that some overly-sensitive souls at our corporate headquarters ordered the removal of the August issue of MAD Magazine from our stores. Please keep in mind that only 40 of our 700 stores sell magazines at all.
The parody of our newspaper ad in the August MAD was very clever. Most of us at Circuit City share a rich sense of humor and irony…but there are occasional temporary lapses.
We apologize for the knee-jerk reaction, and have issued a retraction order; the affected stores are being directed to put the magazines back on sale.
As a gesture of our apology and deep respect for the folks at MAD Magazine, we are creating a cross-departmental task force to study the importance of humor in the corporate workplace and expect the resulting Powerpoint presentation to top out at least 300 pages, chock full of charts, graphs and company action plans.
In addition I have offered to send the MAD Magazine Editor a $20.00 Circuit City Gift Card, toward the purchase of a Nintendo Wii….if he can find one!
All the best,
Circuit City Stores, Inc.
Let’s evaluate it on the 3-step system for fixing corporate gaffes:
1. Admitted they were wrong
2. Stopped doing the wrong thing
3. Made a material gesture of apology
Check check and check on all three, plus points for speed. You go, girls.