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Backlash: Major Retailer Pulls Hideous Daddy’$ Money Shoes Off Website (Updated)

Following Outcry, Major Retailer Pulls Daddy'$ Shoes Off Shelves, Websites (via Babble)Following an enormous outcry in which approximately eleventy million moms said, in unison, “WHAT IN GOD’S NAME IS THAT COMPANY THINKING?!?” the super-creepy line of Daddy’$ shoes will no longer be sold by Famous Footwear and  shoes.com, both owned by parent company Brown Shoe Company.

If you missed my original rant, Daddy’$ Money, a brand owned by Skechers, are these sneaker-shoe things with a hidden 2-inch wedge heel. That would be tolerable, except the ad campaign is the creepiest, most disturbing thing ever. The commercial, possibly designed by an eighth-grade boy utilizing MS Paint, basically tells teenage girls that to get anything, you should ask your (sugar) daddy while wearing short-shorts and a belly shirt.

“The Daddy’s Money name and the collection’s advertising are designed to be fun and lighthearted,” the company said in a statement to ABC News.  “We regret that some people have been offended by the name.”

Basically that statement is saying that they regret that people were offended, but they don’t regret actually making the hideously named product (various models are called “Gimme,” “Gimme Megabucks,” “Mucho Dinero,” and “Ch-Ching”) and the offensive commercial.

Retailer Famous Footwear clearly took the customer feedback more seriously, taking the time to respond to individual comments on Facebook. Here’s a screenshot sent to me by a reader:

Backlash: Major Retailer Pulls Hideous 'Daddy'$ Money' Shoes (via Babble)Famous Footwear is, however, still selling a separate Skechers line for girls called “Hydee,” which also features a 2-inch wedge heel.

Which, whatever. I wouldn’t put my daughters in those, in large part because they’d fall down. We’re not a coordinated people. Plus, I’m just not a fan of heels for little girls, as it’s been shown that high heels are not good for growing feet. But if other people (such as fellow Babble blogger Carolyn Castiglia, who thinks they’re “cute as ish“) want to buy ‘em, I could care less.

The commercial for Hydee (“with a 2-inch wedge only we girls know about!”) shows animated girls acting as super-spies, not flesh-and-blood teens in jorts pouting at their daddies for money. I’m still a little baffled as to why a little girl needs to be two inches taller (sneaking onto better amusement park rides, maybe?), but the Hydee shoes don’t make my brain explode in the way the Daddy’$ Money shoes do.

I don’t know if getting pulled from Famous Footwear and shoes.com represents the death knell for Daddy’$ Money, but I do think Skechers has made a series of pretty big missteps. The whole Daddy’$ Money line seems pretty desperate, coming on the heels of the $40 million debacle known as Skechers Shape-Ups. Their non-apology apology didn’t help.

On the other hand, Famous Footwear and Brown Shoe Company come out smelling like a rose, in my book. In this economy, the company was smart to respond quickly to parent concerns. Also, considering how incredibly bad customer service is in so many stores these days, it’s even more impressive that they responded individually on Facebook.

Update: I received a response from Skechers USA today. On behalf of the company, Public Relations Manager Lauren Dutko wrote,

SKECHERS designed the Daddy’s Money footwear collection to appeal to stylish young women interested in casual, fashion footwear. The Daddy’s Money name and the collection’s advertising are meant to be fun and lighthearted, and we regret that some people have been offended by the name. SKECHERS is a family-oriented footwear company that for over 20 years has worked diligently to offer our customers great shoes backed by compelling marketing.

We want our customers to know that SKECHERS is committed to making a positive social impact, as our record demonstrates. We are proud that our BOBS footwear collection has enabled SKECHERS to donate over three million pairs of shoes to date, helping children in need around the world. In addition, our employees regularly seek to make a difference through a range of charitable efforts in the communities in which we operate around the globe. 

Ms. Dutko also clarified that the Daddy’$ Money line is still available at other national retailers, including Zappos.com and DSW.

Read more from Joslyn on Babble and at her blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy. You can also follow Joslyn on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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