Biz media helped create Black Friday
David Carr of the New York Times writes Monday about how the business media helped create the country’s fascination with Black Friday, the first Christmas shopping day after Thanksgiving.
Carr writes, “Except the coverage is not so much trite as deeply cynical, an attempt to indoctrinate consumers into believing that they are what they buy and that they should be serious enough about it to leave the family at home.
“Media and retail outfits are economic peas in a pod. Part of the reason that the Thanksgiving newspaper and local morning television show are stuffed with soft features about shopping frenzies is that they are stuffed in return with ads from retailers. Yes, Black Friday is a big day for retailers â€” stores did as much as 13 percent of their holiday business this last weekend â€” but it is also a huge day for newspapers and television.
“In partnership with retail advertising clients, the news media have worked steadily and systematically to turn Black Friday into a broad cultural event. A decade ago, it was barely in the top 10 shopping days of the year. But once retailers hit on the formula of offering one or two very-low-priced items as loss leaders, media groups began to cover the post-Thanksgiving outing as a kind of consumer sporting event.”
Read more here.