AgencySpy LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy FishbowlNY FishbowlDC GalleyCat SocialTimes

Posts Tagged ‘Wal-Mart’

Mexican Wal-Mart Under Fire for Allegedly Hosting In-Store Cockfight

walmart chickenIt’s going to take more than “clean up in aisle seven” to wash this one away.

Wal-Mart Mexico, or Walmex, has come under fire for allegedly hosting a cockfight in its Boca del Rio store in order to promote a soda company.

What happened to good old fashioned free samples?

If the allegations are proven true, the retailer could face fines of up to 96,000 pesos ($7,240), as cockfighting is illegal in Boca del Rio.

A Walmex spokesman, Antonio Ocaranza, said the the promotion was not actually a cockfight, as the roosters weren’t armed with blades, no betting took place, and none of the roosters were harmed.

“It wasn’t a cockfight,” Ocaranza told Bloomberg. “There wasn’t anything that would be in violation of any game regulations.”

Photos of the event (below) depict the penned roosters looking agitated and appearing to attack one another…so, there were cocks, and they fought, but it wasn’t technically a “cockfight” because the birds weren’t wielding weapons? Lovely, then. Read more

Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Wal-Mart’s Low Wage Problem Pops Up Again Over Dress Code

walmart storeWages for Wal-Mart workers have been a topic of discussion for a while now. Though there have been a number of stories explaining why their low pay is a problem for everyone, including the retail giant itself, there’s not much being done on the issue.

One thing Wal-Mart is tackling is the uniform non-issue. Once again, the company has changed the dress code. And the workers aren’t happy for a number of reasons. Among them, they can’t afford the new uniform on the money they’re being paid.

Read more

Walmart, Linked to Deadly Factory Fire, Claims Ignorance

If you’re a PR rep attempting to perform damage control and the ever-popular regret-ridden mea culpa appears too risky, there’s always another option: total denial and claims of complete head-in-the-sand ignorance.

In the tragic and terrible case of the fire that killed 112 workers in a Bangladeshi clothing factory (which was recently revealed to have been making apparel for Walmart at the time of the blaze), the retail giant chose to go with the latter strategy.

Manager Delwar Hossain insists that he had no idea the workshop was making clothes for Walmart Stores Inc., that the factory was not authorized to do so, and that it had been sub-contracted by a supplier without Walmart’s knowledge or permission. Even if this were true, the recent revelation that the company decided not to pay for fire safety upgrades in its Bangledeshi factories strongly suggests culpability.

Claiming ignorance may actually work up to a point; perhaps the world’s largest retailer really didn’t know about the unauthorized subcontracting of cheaper labor via “shadowy supply chains” because this sort of thing frequently happens without the knowledge of end-buyers. But can Walmart really be so naive as to not understand how its demands for speedy mass production of clothes (and other goods) at rock bottom prices directly affect the supply chain?

Read more

Roll Call: Quinn & Co., Here Media Inc., and SendtoNews

Quinn & Co., a PR firm headquartered in New York City, is opening an office in Miami this month. The firm, ranked top 10 nationally for travel and real estate, as well as in the top 50 for food, wine + spirits, has tapped Jim Lee as senior vice president to lead the new office. Jim, a veteran PR executive and business-development expert, is scouting Miami office space and spearheading Q&C’s growth in this market. Q&C’s Miami office is targeting clients in travel, real estate, food and beverage. (Release)

Here Media Inc. has announced that Stephen Murray has been appointed to the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Marketing & Brand Strategy. Murray, most recently Senior Director, Brand Integration at iVillage/NBC Universal, will be based in the company’s New York office and report directly to Here Media’s Executive Vice President, Publishing, Joe Landry. (Release)

SendtoNews is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Sean Coutts as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Coutts brings to SendtoNews more than a decade of senior executive experience in IT and digital media industries, most recently as Senior Director Service Delivery at CAI Canada, a global IT services firm with engagements with more than 100 Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies worldwide. Previously, Coutts also served as the General Manager, E-Commerce at Wal-Mart; Chief Operating Officer at KIT digital Inc. and Group Head, Business Operations at JumpTV. (Release)

Edelman Nabs PSB’s Berland to Head New Analytics Biz

Edelman announced today that it has hired Michael J. Berland of WPP’s Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates to act as CEO of a newly-formed research and analytics business known as Edelman Berland.

The new company will be integrated with StrategyOne, Edelman’s existing market research firm, but the StrategyOne brand will live on with current CEO Steve Lombardo working under a yet-to-be-announced title.

In announcing the hire, company CEO Richard Edelman said, “I have known and admired Mike Berland’s work for close to a decade. When it comes to fully integrating research with PR programs and partnering with both account teams and clients, he is simply the best.”

Berland, an acclaimed author and veteran strategic adviser to political figureheads like Hillary Clinton and Michael Bloomberg, most recently served as president of Washington, D.C. based PSB, where he put his market research experience to use in serving clients in politics and other fields around the world.

Read more

Wal-Mart Dumps Mercury

Some unsurprising news to get the week started: Wal-Mart has ended its relationship with Mercury Public Relations, the firm that ran into trouble when one of its staffers was caught pretending to be a reporter to get into a closed presser.

Wal-Mart’s senior director of community affairs Steven Restivo told the L.A. Times, “We take this matter seriously and have taken the appropriate steps to ensure this type of activity is not repeated.”

Read more

An Associate at a Firm That Reps Walmart Was Caught Posing as a Student at a Closed Presser

Warehouse Workers United (WWU), a group representing the interests of warehouse employees, says a PR associate at Mercury Public Affairs, a firm that works with Walmart, posed as a student to infiltrate one of its press conferences. The WWU says it was a “closed press conference” and the associate, Stephanie Harnett, signed in on their media list as a “USC student” named “Zoe Mitchell.”

Harnett then showed up at a press conference yesterday and handed out business cards to reporters “telling people she works for Walmart.” Yesterday’s presser was held to announce what the WWU calls “the largest anti-Walmart rally in US history.”

Gawkerwhich first reported on the story, has a link to a document showing that Mercury is being paid $60,000 to help Walmart open up a new store in Los Angeles’ Chinatown area. And the WWU has posted pictures of Harnett and the business card she was handing out.

We were in touch with Mercury about the story and received this statement from Becky Warren, Mercury‘s MD:

Read more

Despite Scandal, There Are Brands That Can’t Be Broken

In the world of public perception, a scandal can knock a brand down for weeks. But Wal-Mart, which is currently facing a public relations problem with a bribery scandal in Mexico, has fared better than other brands like Taco Bell and Target, according to data from YouGov BrandIndex, which measures “buzz score” on a point index.

YouGov BrandIndex measurement scores range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.

Read more

Wal-Mart to Help Women Around the World Post-Lawsuit

Wal-Mart may have gotten the class-action gender discrimination lawsuit filed against it dismissed by the Supreme Court, but it has decided to invest in a little insurance; billions of dollars worth of insurance.

The retailer has announced a women’s initiative that will include the purchase of $20 billion worth of product from women-owned companies over the next five years, training for female workers around the world, and millions in grants to nonprofits.

“The Wal-Mart public-relations machine is spinning overtime on this,” a Wall Street Strategies analyst told Bloomberg.

Read more

Employees Revolt Against Wal-Mart, Target

Photo: AP

Today, the Supreme Court tossed out a class action gender discrimination lawsuit filed against Wal-Mart Stores.

“The court did not decide whether Wal-Mart had in fact discriminated against the women, only that they could not proceed as a class,” The New York Times writes. The decision puts an end to what the story calls “the largest employment discrimination case in the nation’s history.”

While the Supreme Court decided it couldn’t proceed, there are still repercussions in the court of public opinion.

Read more