Monday, December 16, 2002

A frequent reader sends this delightful tidbit:

Have you seen what Amazon is doing lately? They are now selling clothing. During a book search today, Amazon provided a list of clothing recommendations, based on the books I was browsing. I was told:

Customers who bought this book also were interested in:
* Clean Underwear from Amazon's Eddie Bauer Store
* Ladybug Rain Boots from Amazon's Nordstrom Store
* Suede Headwraps from Amazon's International Male Store
* Cheetah Print Slippers from Amazon's Old Navy Store

Now, looking at this list, I'm pretty insulted. On what basis do they make these recommendations? Being female, why do they think I'd be interested in something at International Male? Further, why "Clean Underwear" from Eddie Bauer? What are they implying about my state of cleanliness? To take this a step further, why has Eddie Bauer chosen this product name - do they need to draw a distinction from their "Dirty Underwear" line?

Interestingly, when I did the same search about five minutes later, the clothing recommendations had disappeared. Perhaps Amazon thought better of it?

I have no idea, though further speculation is certainly warranted. Just a year ago something like this would have smacked of parody, wouldn't it?