Zero Hedge: Make That A Pink Hello Kitty Vibrator, Please

Zero Hedge has become the go-to blog covering general finance.  With multiple editors working under the pen name “Tyler Durden,” a reference to the movie Fight Club, the site consistently cranks-out leading-edge analysis and commentary on the financial markets.
But just how did they become as big as they are?  Perusing their site, one story might offer some insight.

TND Media Context Review / By Eric Dubin /

Yesterday, Bloomberg reported, “Hello Kitty Billionaire Found as Plush Toy Sales Surge.”  The story is mildly interesting, but nothing that would likely generate a lot of comments in the blogosphere.  But one sentence in the Bloomberg story did contain a single word of note:  “Since introducing Hello Kitty in 1974, Tsuji has captured the hearts and wallets of girls, women and celebrities such as Lady Gaga by licensing the character, which appears as stuffed toys, as well as on airplanes, golf bags and even vibrators.”  Yes, Hello Kitty vibrators.

Leave it to Zero Hedge to masterfully add pertinent information about a company’s business, while maintaining the edgy “tone” that people the world over have come to love.  “Tyler Durden” went over to Amazon.com and found a listing of the vibrator.  Using the Amazon listing’s text created and uploaded by a merchant simply making use of Amazon as a host, “Tyler Durden” quotes in boldface the Amazon linked “catalog description” text not even created by Amazon, and not Bloomberg copy:  “But it’s his latest venture – into Hello Kitty” vibrator massager mastubrator – new from Japan that caught our eye.”

As if that easily misconstrued language wasn’t enough, in the very next sentence, we read:  “As one shopper in a Times Square store noted, ‘it’s nice to have something a little girly and flashy and fun,” and it doesn’t show any sign of slowing with sales of around $900 million last year, ‘it’s very hard to see any diminution for the Japanese fondness for cuteness.’”  If you had not read the original Bloomberg story, the above juxtaposition would likely have you concluding that the Times Square shopper was talking about the vibrator, instead of Hello Kitty stationery and the brand in general.  Seriously context-challenged readers might even conclude that the vibrator accounts for $900 million in sales!

buff sale(2)

“Mr. Durden” even spelled masturbator wrong.  But hey, that’s just a typo.

Please understand, TND is not picking on Zero Hedge.  The back-story we are dissecting here is amusing, and we trust Fight-club hardened “Mr. Durden” has a sense of humor.  But Zero Hedge went overboard on this story.  In their quest to be cute and edgy, they had a little too much fun.  With Zero Hedge’s massive market reach, in just a few hours we can already see an example of a blogger up in arms about the story, and no doubt others will jump on the bandwagon.

There’s nothing like a little “buzz” to keep bloggers, uh…, coming back for more, right?  Hey, if the liberal highbrow Huffington Post blog can write stories about the “world champion masturbator,” all we can say is blog reader beware.