Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bad PR Firm, Bad

Edleman, the massive PR agency with clients like, oh say... Wal-Mart, the second (?) largest corporation in the history of capitalism, has admitted, finally, to their ethically dubious behavior. In a nutshell, and you can click yourself into a mia culpa frenzy reading all about it on your own time, Edelman created phoney sites and blogs and world f-ing tours and a host of other $$$-generated smoke and mirrors for their bestest client, Wal-Mart.

Seemed the smarties in the blogosphere, as opposed to the general public, weren't too confused for too long. (I mean...duh... what were they thinking? That people would seriously believe there was a genuine, grassroots, pro-Wal-Mart effort afoot in the land? Do we LOOK stupid here in the blogosphere?!) And guess what, folks got pissed and called 'em out. Imagine that.

I, too, got caught-up in the whole fake Wal-Mart PR campaign, a practice refered to as "astroturfing," when my editorial for The Georgia Political Digest ended-up on the Georgia Families For Wal-Mart site. It's still there. I asked Edelman today to remove the editorial until the whole campaign/site is made more transparent. (UPDATE as of 12:05pm EDT: they did.)

I stand-by my editorial direction in the article. I like Wal-Mart, and plan to shop there when the new intown store opens tomorrow in my 'hood. (Shit, I'm a single working mom; we're programmed to love Wal-Mart due to our historically slim budgets alone.) I just don't like being used on a highly un-transparent site.

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