Target.com was first noted for selling the anal massage (note that this link may no longer be active) a week or so ago. Now, according to this post on Boing Boing, Target is selling marijuana, Crack and MDMA. Why is this happening? Well, this Boing Boing post explains it:
"Mystery solved: A little poking around in the item information for Target's"Anal Massage item reveals an ASIN. This is because Amazon and Target are business partners and ASINs are the unique identifiers used by Amazon. So if you go to Amazon and search for this item's ASIN (B0002KPIBO) you learn that (unfortunately) the item in question is not an actual anal massage, but rather an instructional DVD called "Anal Massage."
I am sure that all of these blog reports are sending loads of traffic to the Target website, but it's probably not the kind of visitors that Target is looking for.
Seth Godin recently had a post asking a question as to whether or not IT guys should be running a business website. He pointed to a frustration that he had using the Air Canada website, which was driven by a technical problem. Similarly, based on the explanation above, the problems on the Target site a driven by a technical problem that is causing what I am sure is frustration for Target.
Is this ASIN sharing a problem that was anticipated by the programming staff for Target? Probably not. But it does beg the question as to whether or not others should have been involved in the design process to mitigate problems like this.