Hallmark Cards Put Unemployment to Work

Being fired is the new perennial—like Mother’s Day and your birthday!
...Think of it as your first step in joining the great American underclass. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters)
Sep 30, 2011
Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

Frightening unemployment and food insecurity numbers aren’t as bleak as they may seem at first glance, or even at second glance. Perk up, chronically downtrending workforce! It’s time to stop trimming those expectations. Someone has a new job!

On second thought, put another knot in the noose. That someone is the Hallmark Cards copywriter who is cranking out a line of condolence messages expressing sympathy, unity and support for unemployed friends and loved ones.

The fact that Hallmark has targeted the jobless as a limping but steady cash cow is an encouraging development to a few vested observers.

So, picture this: First a poor sap catches the pink slip. Then the sap’s home mailbox fills up with sappy or snappy Hallmark sentiments. At least the mailman is happy—or maybe not.

The fact that Hallmark’s market researchers have targeted the jobless as a limping but steady cash cow may be a disturbing development to all but a few vested observers. But it is far from being the most crass commercial exploitation of misery in American history.

Show Comments ()

More on TakePart

Thousands Share Their Messages of Support With Navajo Nation’s ‘Water Lady’