jcpenney has seized control of five “Promoted Tweets” from Twitter, so that no one uses those keywords. As a result, when users search for those names, its advertisements show up. jcpenney, an American retailer based in Plano, Texas, has 1,107 stores in all the 50 states of U.S. and Puerto Rico.
“Target”, “Target Stores”, “Target Gifts”, “Target Deals”, and “Target Holidays” are the five keywords jcpenney has bought from Twitter to promote their sale for this Black Friday. The company has been marketing itself quite aggressively in view of Black Friday , which is just around the corner. Black Friday, which is celebrated on the following day after Thanksgiving (celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November) in the U.S., is considered as the beginning of Christmas shopping. During this day, most retail stores open as early as 4 a.m. for early shoppers.
Target Corporation, 2nd largest discount retailer in the U.S., which is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, seems not interested in promoting itself on Twitter. After jcpenney bought the keywords, the company name did not show up in any of the results related to the brand keyword. But it had put up promotional videos of holiday marketing on YouTube.
Speculation is rife that jcpenney’s move to own the keywords related to Target is not a coincidence. Michael Francis, the present jcpenney president, is said to have worked for Target Corporation for a very long time. It was just last month that he joined jcpenney. Even though nothing is confirmed, there seems to be something, which prompted jcpenney to acquire those keywords.
Other retailers like Gap, HP, and Neiman Marcus are also eyeing on the word “Target” on Twitter. Recently, Sears, a retailer in the US, had also bought Promoted Tweets for the keyword “@target”.
Hijacking of Twitter Promoted Tweets is becoming common and the practice of retailers trying to rob shoppers from other retailers is considered a fair play now. According to sources, Old Navy is trying to divert the attention of shoppers from jcpenney by trying to buy the keyword “jcpenney” from Twitter.