Fake Target account trolls critics of retailer's gender-neutral toy policy

Recently, Target promised to remove any signage delineating "boys" and "girls" sections in its toy aisle. Most to whom we spoke in person applauded that decision. One guy took it upon himself to respond to the inevitable outrage.

- Recently, Target promised to remove any signage delineating "boys" and "girls" sections in its toy aisle. Most to whom we spoke in person applauded that decision.

But elsewhere -- mostly from behind keyboards and monitors -- others in this country objected to what they saw as target submitting to political correctness.

On the store's Facebook page, a Martha Stephens wrote: "I'm disgusted to find that my favorite store gives in to the LGBT. I will no longer shop there if you change colors or change the gender!"

As chief of advertising firm DiMassimo Goldstein, Mark DiMassimo knows target can't argue with the hundreds of Marthas criticizing it on the Internet.

"Ninety-nine out of 100 marketing and PR experts would advise them not to," he says.

But actually anyone else with a Facebook account can. And someone -- identifying himself to Ad Week as Mike Melgaard -- did. Mike's "Ask ForHelp" account responded to Martha: "We at target are against ignorant shoppers. Thank you Martha for being one of the many to make themselves known!"

"I'm sure there's terror, but also joy because this person is communicating what they can't say but -- let's face it -- must feel," DiMassimo says.

The "Ask ForHelp" Facebook page sent dozens of responses to people criticizing Target.

"Oh, my God, I just enjoy them so much," DiMassimo says.

Perhaps leading target to post "Remember when trolls were the kings of the world?"

To which Melgaard responded: "Target. Seriously you are awesome" and hundreds more to respond to Melgaard with praise.

DiMassimo watches all this, chuckles, and sees an economy in which companies no longer own their brand but instead send it out to the consumer to take over and use as they please.

"They have a world out there working for them and they don't have to take responsibility for the way people use their brands," DiMassimo says. "There's risk in that obviously, but there's great opportunity."

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