MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (CAP) - Discount department store Target has apologized for an advertisement in a recent flier that offered to give away dead babies for just $5.99 with the purchase of $200 in merchandise. However, store executives said they are legally bound to honor the promotion.
"Well, obviously it was a typo," said Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel. "But I have no idea where we're gonna come up with these things - I mean, we don't keep them in stock. We're not Walmart."
The ad, which appeared in last week's flier, outraged deceased infant advocacy groups, who flooded the Target corporate offices with critical calls and e-mails. Some even picketed outside various store locations with signs that threatened to picket additional locations if their protests were ignored.
"We speak for the dead babies because they cannot speak for themselves," said Maureen Gagne of People for the Ethical Treatment of Dead Offspring. "And unlike the dead babies, we will not be silenced!"
Lawyers for the Target Corporation said a number of people have already contacted some of the stores to redeem the coupon. They added that they are working feverishly to find a legal loophole that will help them avoid the stigma of becoming the first major retail chain to deal in the dead baby black market.
"We've got a number of options on the table right now," said Kenneth Schofield of the law firm Adams, Schofield & Sullivan. "They range from giving away copies of William Marsh's 2000 movie, Dead Babies to teaming up with abortion clinics and just meeting our obligation head-on."
Schofield said there is precedence for Target's situation. In Peter Casey v. Evanstar Electronics, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Evanstar Electronics owner Mark Evans did not have to actually give his right arm to the plaintiff as he stated he would do if the plaintiff completed a particular purchase.
Officials for Target said that the copy editor who created the flier has been relieved of his duties with the company. He has reportedly taken on a new job as a fact-checker with the New York Times.
- CAP News Staff