After Target announced that they would be making their toy section
“gender neutral,” there was quite an angry response from shoppers, who
took to the retail giant’s Facebook page to
voice their disgust.
That’s where an opportunistic Mike Melgaard came in. Posing as an official Target customer service account, he began fielding complaints from customers.
All Melgaard needed to fuel outrage and confusion was a Facebook account he created called Ask ForHelp that sported Target’s bullseye logo. Ask ForHelp was obviously not verified, but most people didn’t care, interacting with Melgaard and growing increasingly irate as he trolled their gender neutral hatin’ ways. Ars Technica points out that “rather than checking for a verified blue checkmark,” they believed that Ask ForHelp was legit at first glance and sought repeatedly to report him to Target overlords. When Melgaard screencapped his shenanigans and posted them to Facebook, the prank went viral.
It is unknown the financial impact on Target at this time by Mike Melgaard's stunt. Below are screen captures of his stunt.