Borders Gets on
David & Goliath
Bandwagon
Response

Borders Books carries offensive products produced by David and Goliath. The two journals read "Boys are Smelly" and "Chics Rule! Boys Drool." See Borders Gets on David & Goliath Bandwagon.

Our Request - February 17, 2004
Their Response - March 16, 2004
Our Thank You - March 28, 2004
Final Request - March 28, 2004

Our Request


Here's what we snail-mailed and faxed to their CEO. We'll let you know if and when we get a response.

February 17, 2004

Ms. Tami Heim, CEO
Borders Group, Inc.
100 Phoenix Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Re: "Boys are Smelly" and "Chics Rule, Boys Drool" Journals Your Bookstore's Carry

Dear Ms. Heim:

First of all, let me say how much we appreciate the fact that your corporation thought enough about men to have a separate "men's studies" section in every Borders bookstore we've been in. For years, we have promoted this fact on our web site and actually spoken against Barnes & Noble for not having such a section and not even wanting to consider the possibility. (We have listed your bookstores at www.menstuff.org/bookstores/bookstores.html, which is a listing of bookstores in the U.S. that have a separate men's section.) While still a small part of the total book market, directing men to a section that (1) Does not make him stand in front of a "self-help" section "asking for help", and (2) Putting positive books that men might like to read in one section instead of basically hiding them in a section with all of the anti-male books like "Why Men Don't Commit", etc.

We would like to point out, however, that you are carrying a couple of Journals in your "All Other" section, produced by David & Goliath, for preteen and teenage girls that are demeaning to boys and start girls off on the wrong foot with boys at a time when both sexes are struggling to understand the other in a positive light. I'm sure there would be no question in your mind that if these journals said "Girls are Smelly" and "Guys Rule! Chics Drool" they wouldn't have made it on the purchase order.

The basic direction of the David and Goliath corporation (See the opening cartoon on their home page at www.davidandgoliathtees.com.) produce a number of items, some much more disparaging than what you carry. "Boys are Stupid, Throw Rocks at Them", "Stupid Factory, Where Boys are Made", and others. We have been successful in removing them from over 3,000 Claire's outlets across the U.S. and we would like to inform those who visit our web site at www.menstuff.org (over 60,000 hits a day) that your chain no longer supports these kinds of messages. We hope you agree with us and will let us know, at your earliest convenience the action you plan to take and we will report this to our visitors.

Yours in continued growth,

Gordon Clay, Executive Director

Their Response


While many people got involved with the initial campaign to remove offensive David & Goliath products from retailer's shelves, no one joined us, to our knowledge, to address the issue with Border's Books. And, according to the corporate office, we were the only one, including all of their customers, to complain. Just goes to show the power of one. Remember this the next time you think that something is wrong. Send a letter and see what happens. So, here is their response. Click here for a scan of the original document.

March 16, 2004

Dear Mr. Clay:

Thank you for your inquiry regarding a line of journals produced by Daivd & Goliath sold at Borders Books & Music stores.

While the journals have sold well and we have yet to receive complaints from our customers about them, the negative nature of their message has led our gifts and stationery merchandising staff to determine they will not reorder stock of these products. The existing stock on our shelves will be sold through.

If you should have any other questions regarding this product and our stores, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Jenie Dahlmann
Manager, Public Relations
Brokers Group, Inc.
jdahlman@bordersgroupinc.com
734.477.1665

Our Thank You


Dear Ms. Dahlmann:

While we would have hoped that Borders would not continue to sell the two offensive David & Goliath journals, we do appreciate the fact that (1) Borders will no longer carry the item after stocks have been depleted, and (2) that, because of this, the gifts and stationary merchandising staff will be more sensitive when similar products are presented by manufacturers. We also appreciate Borders taking this action even though we were the only customer, to your knowledge, who complained at any of your 400+ Borders retail outlets.

Yours in continued growth,

Gordon Clay, Executive Director

Final Request


Take a minute and thank thepeople at Borders for acting to remove negative interactions between boys and girls without having an onslaught of complaints to force their hand. We appreciate it. We believe fathers everywhere appreciate it, and we feel it is one more step to bring the sexes together rather than continuing to find ways to keep us separate. After you send Borders a thank you, check out the most recent action we are asking you to consider and "Take Action!"- Gordon Clay

Related Actions: Rotten Cotton and Future Wife Beater T-shirts plus David & Goliath and It's Happy Bunny items and Flatline stickers



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