Monday, December 24, 2007

Anarchists in the Aisles

A New York Times piece on "shopdropping." Above, a D.I.Y. t-shirt featuring Karl Marx, the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, and Che Guevara slipped onto a rack at a Target store in California. Viva la revolucion!
Otherwise known as reverse shoplifting, shopdropping involves surreptitiously putting things in stores, rather than illegally taking them out, and the motivations vary.

Anti-consumerist artists slip replica products packaged with political messages onto shelves, self-published authors sneak their works into the “new releases” section, while personal trainers put their business cards into weight-loss books, and aspiring professional photographers make homemade cards — their Web site address included, of course — and covertly plant them into stationery-store racks.

“Everyone else is pushing their product, so why shouldn’t we?” said Jeff Eyrich, a producer for several independent bands, who puts stacks of his bands’ CDs — marked “free” — on music racks at Starbucks whenever the cashiers look away.

Retailers fear the practice may annoy shoppers and raise legal or safety concerns, particularly when it involves children’s toys or trademarked products.

“Our goal at all times is to provide comfortable and distraction-free shopping,” said Bethany Zucco, a spokeswoman for Target. “We think this type of activity would certainly not contribute to that goal.”


  1. Well, isn't Bethany living in denial. 99.9% of all the toys "she" sells at Target are made in China, (probably 100%)and contain high levals of lead among other hazards. As for slipping self published books onto store shelves. Now, that is something I haven't thought of. In fact I'm headed to Capitola Book Cafe right now with a copy of my "Waterhauler" book. Wish me luck!


    I like the whole concept ... viva la revolution !!!

    Christmas is WAY too commercial anyway ... any subversion like this is OK by me !!!

    Bring it on, and let's reclaim the Season !!!!