Merry Christmas KMartha

Discussion
Oct 21, 2002
George Anderson

Merry Christmas KMartha


By George Anderson


Kmart has a decision to make. Will it continue to air commercials for the Martha Stewart line with Martha in them?


James Adamson, Kmart’s chief executive told Newsweek that the retailer has produced two commercials, one with Martha and one without, to support Christmas holiday items coming out under her brand name.


The commercials, whichever one Kmart finally decides on, are scheduled to begin running early next month.


Whether Kmart goes ahead with Martha-less commercials is still essentially a flip of the coin. Mr. Adamson said, “It will be a very difficult decision and I’ll make it at the last minute. If I feel that Martha the personality will adversely affect Martha the product at Kmart, then that’s what will drive my decision. I’ll do what’s best for Kmart.”


Moderator’s Comment: Should Kmart promote the Martha
Stewart line with or without her appearing in its commercials?


The allegations about Martha Stewart’s insider trading
suggests she lives by a personal code of ethics that run contrary to the Christmas
spirit, even in today’s commercialized terms. Kmart should sell the line without
the spokesperson. Here’s anecdotal evidence that brought us to this conclusion
before reading about the Newsweek article.


A Kmart commercial featuring Martha Stewart came on the
television recently and the resident household accessories buyer asked, “Martha
Stewart, isn’t she in jail or something.” [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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