Wal-Mar(keting)

"Wal-Mart's not-so-good streak of publicity continues today, with both a rebuke from the Department of Labor's inspector general and the release of a new movie that shows the downside of Wal-Mart's famously low prices. Add that to the leaked benefits memo from last week, and the reasons that Wal-Mart has felt the need set up its own 'war room' become increasingly clear," writes Laura Donnelly.

Jonathan Tasini calls the child labor law agreement between Wal-Mart and the Labor Dept 'a sweetheart deal' saying essentially: "'Next time we want to investigate what laws you might be breaking, we’re going to tell you about the investigation before we do it'—just to give you enough time to cover your tracks, shred documents or muddle the trail."

AlterNet's New York staff will be attending the premier of Robert Greenwald's movie tonight, so expect some kind of report on that tomorrow.

Donnelly continues:


"The company has compiled an election-like action team that focuses on "swing voters"—what they call "consumers who have not soured on Wal-Mart"... Statistics show, however, that consumers' consciences are turning them away from the low-cost-is-everything mantra Wal-Mart peddles. One report from 2004 found that between 2 and 8 percent of former Wal-Mart shoppers had stopped shopping because of negative press about the store. Looks like there's more of that to come."
What I found fascinating about the war room is that former PR people for Clinton, Kerry and even Dean were on the case. I'm not naive enough to believe either that PR people for ostensibly more liberal politicians believe in, well, anything, nor that those politicians should necessarily only hire folks they agree with, but what does surprise me is why anyone would hire image handlers for Kerry or Dean, two candidates with massive image problems... (Uncommon Sense)

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