Monday, February 28, 2011

Letter vs Magazine, Letter Wins

During a recent trip to my new grocery store (as I just moved to Texas since you asked) I noticed a popular magazine with a particularly inappropriate cover placed at the head of each check-out lane. And right at eye-level of young and impressionable children like my son. Now, I've grocery shopped long enough to realize that most magazines placed in check-out lanes aren't there to propagate wholesome values, but this one was really over-the-top.

Well, it's not as if I could choose another activity because my family has to um...EAT. So I wrote a letter. (Okay, it's the 21st century so it was more like a nicely-written and well thought-out e-complaint.) There is only ONE grocery store chain here, other than the superstores, so I knew I'd have to make the switch to that-one-blue-superstore-that-is-taking-over-the-world but which I shall not mention in order to avoid google hits...if the letter yielded no results.

But it did.

The same day I received a call from the manager of that particular store, and we discussed the possibility of incorporating a "family friendly" aisle, something he is taking up with corporate. The next day he let me know that he had worked with the magazine merchandiser, and he was able to move the offending magazine to the BACK of the that each month's newest (illicit) cover is well..COVERED.

Okay, this manager was very easy to work with and very, very nice. So maybe it was too easy, but letters can effect change. It felt very empowering. "What can I change next..."

Have you ever used your writing skills to influence for the positive? Do you sometimes want to burn the magazine racks in your grocery store? (Don't. I'm pretty sure that would be considered illegal in spite of your good intentions.)


  1. Awesome! I love that you had the courage to take a stand like that.

    I need to be more like that.

  2. I love to hear experiences like this one. Do you think the same request would work even if you didn't have your son/child with you?

  3. Lisa-Thanks! I'm sure the courage came from Somewhere.

    Tamara-I think my point was better made by my being a mother. Most reasonable people GET that young children are better off NOT seeing certain things. But that's a very good question. If I had just been a concerned shopper on no other platform than my own personal morals, would I have been heard?

  4. That's awesome, jessie! It makes me think about that old '80's (or was it '90's) movie called "Summer School" where the teacher teaches the teenagers that they could get free stuff by writing intelligent letters to corporations!! That lesson stuck with me. I always email companies when something is wrong. And they usually take care of my complaints. The power of the pen (or keyboard) really is amazing!!



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