The true story of how a few women used Twitter to eliminate a really terrible Hallmark greeting card in a matter of hours.
by Imran Siddiquee
In a display of the lighting-quick power of organized social media, Hallmark UK has apologized and pledged to remove a grossly offensive card (see above) just a few hours after it was posted online by a concerned consumer.
The card, which is aimed at 13-year-old girls, promises that your boyfriend will “buy you diamonds and rubies… when you’ve got bigger boobies.” User @Cheesyhel first posted the picture around 4:56 am PT this morning, after finding it for sale in a store near her:
It was soon re-tweeted, blogged about and posted across the Internet. By this afternoon the mainstream press had even picked up the image and the story building on Twitter.
People used the #NotBuyingIt hashtag to directly question @HallmarkUK about selling such a blatantly terrible card for 13-year-olds:
All of which led rather remarkably to an apology from Hallmark (the card was manufactured by a company owned by Hallmark, but was something they created prior to being purchased by the greeting card giants) and a pledge to track down all existing copies of the card still in circulation:
Kudos to Hallmark for their quick response, but the fact that passionate consumers were able to call-out, organize around and ostensibly eliminate a seriously problematic piece of media from the world’s most recognizable greeting card company (within the span of a single day!) is an awesome reminder of just what we are capable of as a community. And, in particular, the fact that this campaign was sparked, led and won by women is proof that new media is empowering the marginalized in a way that old media never did.
Keep being amazing, Internet.
Hallmark posted this official statement just now:
“This card was produced by Creative Publishing prior to Hallmark Cards acquiring the company in 1998. We are as surprised and horrified as anyone else to have discovered that there are still copies in circulation. The card has not been produced for over 15 years and would never pass our own strict guidelines of taste and appropriateness. We would like to assure all our customers that we will do everything in our power to track down remaining copies.”
Imran is the Communications Director at MissRepresentation.org. Follow him on Twitter @imransiddiquee