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Posts Tagged ‘Walmart’

Walmart Comms VP to Resign Over Fake Resume

David TobarIn a peculiar story, David Tovar has announced his plans to resign from Walmart after spending more than eight years in various top PR roles at the big box chain. The reason? He was less than honest about his (alleged) status as a college graduate.

Tovar’s name isn’t new to us or our readers: he’s been a popular speaker at industry events like The Holmes Report’s 2013 Global Summit and PRSA’s recent corporate comms conference. He also made headlines by doing things like boycotting The Huffington Post over its “unfair coverage” of his employer, “fact-checking” an unflattering New York Times op-ed, and admitting that the Waltons sometimes have trouble keeping their shelves stocked.

In other words, he’s bolder than your average corporate communications executive — especially when it comes to massaging the truth about his background.

He tried to explain things to CNBC today.

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Walmart’s #PRFail Recognition May Win the Retailer $3 Billion

Aisles of a Grocery StoreIn the wild and wacky world of corporate PR, it seems the larger the brand, the more difficult it becomes to acknowledge mistakes. The more transparent a brand is, the more vulnerable it becomes.

That may explain what takes place in Bentonville, Ark. (the corporate home of Walmart) on a daily basis. Until recently, the brand has seemed only proactive about growth and global domination.

And then, a story in Time came out last April that read: “Walmart has cut employee hours so deeply that it doesn’t have enough associates on hand to get stuff from back-of-the-store staging areas to the shelves.”

That caused Walmart to do something differently — respond. Sure, it’s more than a year later, but they’re new at this thing. Let’s cut them a break.

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THIS JUST IN: Goldman Sachs Thinks Walmart’s Reign Is Coming To An End

THIS JUST IN 2When the humble folks who run Walmart in Bentonville, Arkansas (and NOT the equally famous “People of Walmart“) read the story that inspired this headline, they almost certainly voiced expletives and other things we can’t write in this post because Mediabistro insists that this is a family show.

According to this article from HuffPo, a research note published by Goldman Sachs analysts predicted the slow but certain demise of big chain box stores like Walmart and Target — and slapped the companies’ stock prices around a bit in the process.

Now, it’s going to take much more than that topple that king of the discount mountain.

The article, however, did pull out some plastic guns to blow holes in that argument…

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Sears, Walmart Apologize for Selling Nazi Poster (No Comment from Amazon)

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Today we learned that three of the country’s largest online retailers do not effectively screen the products they offer for evidence of Nazism.

On Monday, Digiday reported on the news (first broken by Heeb last week) that Walmart‘s online store offered shoppers a poster featuring an image of the gate at Dachau concentration camp, which was the very first opened by the German government to hold political prisoners in 1933 (and at which tens of thousands of innocent people died). The fact that the saying on the gate reads “work makes you free” is especially perverse.

Further searches revealed that Amazon and Sears also featured the item online. Their excuse? The dreaded “third party vendor.”

Let’s compare their statements.

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Walmart Comms VP ‘Fact Checks’ The New York Times

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The purpose of New York Times writer Timothy Egan’s op-ed on income inequality last week was to highlight the inability of our political parties and corporate entities to reach agreement on the best ways to help the millions of working Americans who struggle to provide themselves and their families with the basics.

Egan unsurprisingly singled out two names for blame: the Republican Party and Walmart.

David Tovar, sometime PRSA speaker and VP of corporate communications at the retailer, decided to respond in blog form–and he got a bit cattier than expected. His intro:

“Tim – Thanks for sharing your first draft. Below are a few thoughts to insure something inaccurate doesn’t get published. Hope this helps. – WMT”

Well, then. Full red-ink revision after the jump.

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Walmart’s Next Victim Is Organic Food, and You Can’t Blame Them

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Wait, what?

Hey, when you’re Godzilla, you try to step on everything else, crush it, and keep on moving. Why? Because you can.

Meet Walmart. You may have seen a store or two around your neck of the woods. And for the world’s largest company, the one thing you have to give them is they never stop trying to add new cards in the spokes of its ginormous wheel. So, what in the world could it possibly add to its current global domination?

Organic food. I know, right?  Read more

How Can Walmart Cause Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs to Die?

dirty jobsMike Rowe has a face only a network can love. The TV pitchman got his name for dipping his toe (among other parts of his entire body) in the muck and the mire of humanity for Discovery’s Dirty Jobs. The show, which shined a spotlight on the common man, became Rowe’s calling card.

Since then, he has shilled for Tylenol, Lee’s Premium Jeans and Ford Motor Company. He’s practically the voice of reason for the little man. To wit, he was hired by another brand known for its reach into middle ‘Merica — Walmart. 

For that, America has turned on Rowe to the tune of name calling, boycotting, social media trolling and even death threats.

Wait, what? Yes. As in “Let’s light the torches, get our pitchforks and go get us some Mike Rowe” threats.

Why, after the jump…

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And the Award for Corporate #PRFail of the Year Goes to…

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If we hadn’t been busy spending our holidays doing everything but shopping at Target, then we would have covered this story a little more aggressively. As is, we can reflect on its status as the worst crisis comms case of 2013.

The retailer’s big failure doesn’t lie in the breach itself; as Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel told us today, that kind of thing can happen to anyone. It’s more in the way they chose to address it.

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The 10 Biggest PR Losers of 2013

Oh sure, he looks happy NOW...

Sure, he’s happy now. Just wait ’til he wakes up tomorrow.

Now that 2014 has granted us nearly 48 hours’ worth of hard-earned hindsight, we’d like to pull out our overgeneralizing caps and name the ten biggest losers of the past year.

This list isn’t about individual failures destined to be remembered for decades: it’s more about the entities that lost the public’s trust in 2013.

So check it out and feel free to disagree with us, because that’s what the Internet is all about.

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Walmart’s Chinese Donkey Meat Got a Little Too Foxy

Gross

In what may be 2014′s biggest revelation to date, we now know that the fox says “I’m not a donkey.”

Three things we learned from today’s Wall Street Journal story:

  • Walmart operates in China’s Shandong province
  • “Five spice” donkey meat is popular among customers in said province
  • Walmart will now pay approximately $8 to each person who bought that delicious product after testing revealed the presence of DNA from other animals (including foxes) in the meat

What else is there to know?

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