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Circuit Says It Can Take a Joke

4 Aug, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Circuit City Stores Inc. Aug. 4 backpedaled a bit after executives reportedly tried to ban August copies of MAD Magazine at select stores that featured a four-page parody of the fiscally challenged consumer electronics retailer.

Titled “Sucker City,” the spoof, according to The Associated Press, sported mock ads that encouraged readers to visit Circuit City stores “directly across the street from Best Buy,” or “any of our other 600 stores directly across the street from 600 other Best Buys!”

Another ad for the Nintendo Wii proclaimed it was “guaranteed in stock ... if you're friends with an employee who hid it in the back for you. Otherwise, ooh, sorry, all sold out.”

Circuit City spokesperson Jim Babb said the spoof was cleverly done and misinterpreted by a few executives.

“We apologize for the knee-jerk reaction, and have issued a retraction order; the affected stores are being directed to put the magazines back on sale,” Babb told the AP. “The parody of our newspaper ad in the August MAD was very clever. Most of us at Circuit City share a rich sense of humor and irony ... but there are occasional temporary lapses.”

Babb said he was offering $20 gift cards to MAD staffers.

Editor John Ficarra, in response, said the staff was troubled “because we had no idea that Circuit City even sells magazines.”

He said the magazine accepted the apology and hoped the $20 gift card was “only an opening offer.”

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