Technology with attitude

Upper Deck Pulls Sexist Hillary Clinton Card From Set, Treats Bloggers Like Idiots

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Portraying Hillary as a busty kissing bandit? Was Upper Deck even thinking? Oh, you better believe they were, and they wanted bloggers to be part of their strategy. More on that later.

First, the card…

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So how do I know about this? Well, a PR flack sent it my way, and although I ignore 99% of those emails, I decided to write about this one.

There are two reasons for this: 1) it exposes some really dumb, sexist thinking on the part of Upper Deck and 2) it exposes clear ignorance on the part of Upper Deck and their PR team about the role of bloggers and how we’re not just easy shills that will help them capitalize on their dumb, sexist thinking.

Let’s focus on the initial screwup first…especially when you consider how the other candidates were portrayed…

Other parodies include John McCain and Ted Williams, a pair of decorated war veterans who served their country proudly; John Edwards’ portrayal of Archibald “Moonlight” Graham, both healthcare advocates, the latter who appeared as a right fielder in a single MLB game for the New York Giants (June 29, 1905); Fred Thompson blending with Babe Ruth, two larger-than-life characters who have appeared on the silver screen […]

Hmm, John McCain alongside Ted Williams, Fred Thompson with Babe Ruth…and so when they got to Hillary they thought, “Hey, let’s make her a bimbo!” Priceless…

Here’s more from the press release…

After extensive review with key internal and external business partners, the decision was made to remove the original Hillary Clinton card from the set. Upper Deck’s Vice President of Marketing Louise Curcio explained: “The subject matter of the original card was considered to be somewhat controversial, and could possibly be deemed inappropriate. It is important that all of the Presidential Predictor cards are both fun and humorous, but ultimately in good taste.”

It’s kind of hard to parse through a statement like that, but since I speak Corporatese, I’ll translate: They knew it was sexist, but they put it out there anyway.

So here’s where we get into the second part of this story, which involves us bloggers and is far more craven and far more stupid. It starts off with the question I asked myself when I got the email: did they put the card out there and then pull it for more coverage?

Well, one wouldn’t necessarily assume so when you first read the story, but again, I was contacted by a PR agency…and I’m guessing they’re not working for Topps.

In fact, here are some choice phrases from the email…

This is the card that everyone is talking about! […]

Please share this information with your readers! To help aid your feature, please find some additional assets here:
http://www.specialopsmedia.com/assets/UpperDeck/Card%20Images.zip, as well as the press release below. […]

But this one really got my blood boiling…

Kindly send over the link to your feature as it goes live.

Ha! Oh, you’ll get a link alright…

And apparently only ONE of these cards SOMEHOW made it out there. For proof of this, the PR agency sent me a link from eBay where a Power Seller is trying to get some poor sap to buy it for $1,500!

Think Upper Deck gave one of these to their PR agency to give to this Power Seller so they could spread the word virally? I certainly hope not, but why would they include the eBay listing in the email they sent me?

Again, shame on you Upper Deck. Seriously. This was beyond stupid. And double shame on their PR agency for treating bloggers like shills.