Jason Del Rey

Recent Posts by Jason Del Rey

Either Ugly Sweaters Are Still In, or Amazon Is Very Late to the Party

The author in his ugly sweater, circa 2009.

The author in his ugly sweater, circa 2009.

The last time I went to a so-called “ugly sweater” holiday party, the year was 2009. And even then, the party theme already seemed old (though you couldn’t tell by the look on my face).

But, alas, either ugly sweaters are making a comeback, or their (dare I call it) popularity never really faded at all.

This year’s example: Amazon.com has created an Ugly Christmas Sweater page within its Clothing category, marking the first time the Seattle-based retailer has done so, according to spokesman Scott Stanzel.

The e-commerce marketplace has also bought up a bunch of keyword ads on Google for terms such as “ugly sweaters,” “ugly Christmas sweaters” and “ugly holiday sweaters.” Target.com has also paid to have its own ugly sweaters show up in the paid-ad box on Google alongside Amazon — also a first, according to spokesman Eddie Baeb.

Even British online retailer ASOS is trying to get in on the action, snagging some ads atop certain related search queries.

It seems, then, that perhaps I’ve just gotten too old to appreciate a good fad, especially if you trust this comment from a retail analyst Reuters spoke to.

“This is going to be a Christmas of ugly sweaters,” she told Reuters. “That’s the hip thing now; bad sweaters are so cool.”

I’m okay with being uncool.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik