Sketchers has come up with some new shoe designs aimed at teen girls, and parents aren't happy with the way they're being marketed.
"Daddy'$ Money" is the name of the line, and the whole premise of the idea seems to be that Sketchers wants their teen fans to run to Daddy with their hand out. Some of the design names are questionable, too, such as a floral sequined pair called "Gimme".
"It's so bad that if it were a Saturday Night Live sketch -- it would be hilarious. But it's not. It's real. And I had to watch it all the way through twice before it started to sink in that people were seriously trying to sell this garbage to my daughter," a blogger who goes by the name of Lydia wrote.
Indeed, the ad for the shoes is receiving quite a bit of backlash as parents question what the company is trying to accomplish. The fact that the shoes feature a built-in "secret" wedge is not lost on consumers, either, who say that trying to give sex appeal to footwear for teen girls is not okay.
"Are we teaching them that they need to be taller? So that what? They appear to be thinner? Because whatever their size or height or body type, it's wrong," Lydia says.
Parenting coach Tammy Gold agrees. "The whole aspect of self-worth is off in this because you want to motivate children, especially in this day and age, to do for themselves, to be independent, to get things for themselves, to earn [money] one day," she said. "All of this is saying the opposite."
Twitter had quite a bit to say about the ad, as well. As for Sketchers, they insist that no harm was meant in the concept of the shoes.
"The Daddy's Money name and the collection's advertising are designed to be fun and lighthearted," the company said. "We regret that some people have been offended by the name."
— Ira Guevarra (@lraGuevarra) February 28, 2013
Daddy'$ Money Sneakers: For the teen who loves swag and sexism. ow.ly/i8qJD
— Mommyish.com (@mommyishdotcom) February 28, 2013
#sketchers come on, get with the program!Girls don't need 'Daddys Money' to buy shoes and we don't need a message of dependence on 'sexy'
— Susanne Moore (@susannemoore) February 28, 2013
A sketchers commercial was just singing "swag daddys money" for high tops with a heels on them. #killyourself
— Abigail (@abigaildane01) February 27, 2013