A controversial tea kettle

Will Michael Graves design a controversial tea kettle for JCPenney?

A controversial tea kettle is the feature of today’s blog post. According to an article posted on FastCompany.com this household item is causing a “social media uproar”.

the image of a controversial teakettle
Does this tea kettle remind you of Hitler? Photo from The Telegraph

JCPenney insists it is a snowman. They have already been having financial difficulties. This tea kettle controversy may be bringing them lots of attention. But it is probably not the kind they want or need. If they had only come out with a kitchen accessories line like Target did. It was designed by world famous architect, Michael Graves. He also designed another line of household accessories for Target.

the famous Michael Graves 'Whistling Bird' tea kettle manufactured by Alessi and sold at Target
The famous Whistling Bird tea kettle designed by Michael Graves that sold at Target. Photo from Michael Graves Photo Collection

But in March of 2012, Target announced that their thirteen year partnership with the Michael Graves Design Group was coming to an end.

Guess who their new partnership is with? It is JCPenney (see video below). So why is all the buzz about a controversial tea kettle rather than this potential publicity gem? Perhaps, it is because more people know who Hitler was than who Michael Graves is.

Here’s an insightful article from BusinessWeek.com. It describes Michael Graves decision to leave Target and to join JCPenny. It also mentions his relationship with Ron Johnson, JCPenney CEO.

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