A brand wolf in sheep’s clothing

Amen, sister! I  am loving this controversial open letter that Sharp Skirts recently posted about ForbesWoman.  SharpSkirts courageously indicts this media outlet, even after ForbesWoman named them one of the top ten entrepreneurial sites for women.

Putting aside the important point Sharp Skirts makes about this purported “business publication” talking down to business women and assuming all they care about is beauty, fashion and gossip…..which is a very important one….I just love the brand lesson this teaches:

You will piss off your target customers if you promise one thing and deliver another.

You can’t go out into the world with a brand promise of ““a magazine and Web site for career-minded women who mean business” if you are going to bait and switch and provide sensational content just to garner eyeballs. Some of the headlines cited in the Sharp Skirts post:

Beauty and the Brood‘ – Oct. 30th piece on how women with more attractive facial features want to bear more children

Halloween Costume Dilemma‘ – Oct. 27th piece advising us not to dress slutty on Halloween

Not Everyone’s Cheering J.Crew Boss Jenna Lyons Lesbian Rumor‘ – Oct. 27th piece on how Lyons’ husband is feeling about her sexuality

7 Signs Your Shopping May Be Problematic‘ – Oct. 27th piece on how to tell if you’re handling your money irresponsibly

Are Women Turned On By Financial Risk?Oct. 26th piece on how money plays into women’s selection of a mate

And two more: “Should Kim Kardashian Return Her Engagement Ring?’ and ‘Why Most Women Will Never Become CEO.” 

I can’t say this anymore eloquently than what the Sharp Skirts blog post stated, so here you go:

“The ForbesWoman Twitter profile descriptor is, “a magazine and Web site for career-minded women who mean business.” So why are they writing about naughty Halloween costumes? Or our breeding and shopping habits? I increasingly feel like I’m reading a copy of Look magazine, circa 1957.

A chorus of boos from our Facebook group has greeted these articles, but Sharp Skirt Dana Van Nest said it best: “I thought Forbes was a trusted business magazine. Seems my opinion is out of date. That article is pure tabloid.” The article to which she was referring – well, pick your poison.”

Feel free to weigh in below about both this brand deception or the quality of content available to smart career women.



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