Surprise, surprise. Wal-Mart was just busted using shady PR tactics to lobby for its proposed LA Chinatown store.
Last week, members of the Warehouse Workers Union allowed a self-professed USC student journalist named “Zoe Mitchell” to cover a closed event dealing with the Chinatown Wal-Mart. Yesterday, however, WWU found out that “Zoe Mitchell” was actually Mercury Public Affairs associate Stephanie Harnett–a flack working for Wal-Mart on the Chinatown campaign. They sent word about the mole to Gawker, who published a piece on the shenanigans.
Wal-Mart spokesman Steven Restivo told Gawker: “These actions were unacceptable, misleading and wrong. Our culture of integrity is a constant at Walmart and by not properly identifying herself, this individual’s behavior was contrary to our values and the way we do business. We insist that all our vendors conduct themselves in a way that is transparent and honest and we will reinforce that expectation to help ensure this type of activity is not repeated.”
Harnett is apparently “no longer with the company.”