"Trophy" T-shirt puts consumer cross-hairs on Target

Big-box retailer Target (TGT) has become the target of widespread criticism online, for marketing a T-shirt emblazoned with the word "Trophy" to its female customers.

Along with angry comments on Twitter and other social media, a woman in Wisconsin has filed a petition on Change.org, calling on the company to stop selling a shirt that it says not only demeans and objectifies women, but also "shows their ignorance to their own female market." That petition now has several hundred signatures.


For its part Target is in full damage-control mode, apologizing across a wide spectrum of media for the Trophy T-shirt, as well as other similarly labeled items of clothing.

"It is never our intention to offend anyone," the company said in a statement to CBS. "These shirts are intended as a fun wink and we have received an overwhelmingly positive response from our guests."

Target also tried to explain its marketing of the Trophy T-shirt, telling the Huffington Post the shirt "is part of a collection of engagement and wedding shirts that are available in our women's and plus size departments. The collection also included shirts that say 'Team Bride,' 'Mrs.' and 'Bride.'"

And, as you might expect in this highly-polarized political culture, there are some people questioning the whole "Trophy" controversy.

"The word has a different connotation to people," social entrepreneur and pet advocate Wendy Diamond tells Fox News. "I have many girlfriends who are single that are human rights activists, lawyers, teachers, and doctors who I would call 'trophies' because I believe men would be so lucky to know them."

This isn't the first time Target has come under pressure from consumers due to political issues.

In 2010 activists called for a boycott of the Minnesota-based company for its donation to the campaign of a conservative gubernatorial candidate in its home state, Tom Emmer, who opposed same-sex marriage.

And last year a group called "Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America" petitioned Target to implement an open-carry ban in its stores.