View Full Version : Wal-Mart doesn't discount politicians

10-25-2006, 04:41 PM
but first, a word from our sponsors:

Last week, Wal-Mart took a hit when bloggers on the Internet attacked the behemoth's effort to burnish its image via its own bloggers, who were receiving compensation from the retailer for their efforts. The episode may turn out to be an even bigger public relations disaster for Edelman, the retailer's PR firm. It culminated on Oct. 16, with a mea culpa from CEO Richard Edelman on his blog.

It all started last month, when a folksy blog called Wal-Marting Across America was set up. The site featured the musings of a couple known only as Jim and Laura as they drove cross country in an RV, and included regular interviews with Wal-Mart workers, who were dependably happy about the company and their working conditions. BusinessWeek.com wrote the first exposť about the blog. The story shot down speculation that Jim and Laura weren't real people, identifying the woman as Laura St. Claire, a freelance writer and an employee at the U.S. Treasury department. But it also disclosed that Wal-Mart was paying plenty for the couple's support, including money for renting the RV, gas, and fees for writing the blog.
Once bloggers heard that Jim and Laura had undisclosed benefactors, they were furious. Shortly after the story was published, it was revealed that the other half of the couple was Jim Thresher, a staff photographer at The Washington Post. The Post's executive editor quickly made it clear that Thresher's involvement violated internal ethics guidelines, and Thresher had to pay back any money received for the trip and remove his photographs from the blog. "Today, there's nowhere to run and nowhere to hide," says Paul Rand, a partner at Ketchum public relations. "The moment you hide something, you will end up being exposed and picked apart."

Clearing the ground rules
The Edelman firm may end up suffering even more than Wal-Mart from the mess. The firm says it's solely responsible for organizing the RV trip via a group called Working Families for Wal-Mart, which is funded by Wal-Mart. The retailer declined comment. "We won't comment on the RV tour, since it was a Working Families for Wal-Mart initiative and we didn't have anything to do with it," says Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar.
Wal-Mart likes Arnold and the state GOP:
web page (http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/sep2006/db20060928_251244.htm?campaign_id=msnbc_walmartblo g)

10-25-2006, 04:58 PM
Wal-Mart,a corporate citizen. Rrrright. Citizen of China,maybe/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif