Spinning Wal-Mart

Retailer, union activists wage high-stakes PR battle

When it comes to peddling pickles and pants, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. knows just what to do: Cut costs and pass along the savings. But the world's largest retailer is facing a trickier marketing challenge as it tries to sell its political agenda to lawmakers, regulators and voters.

Wal-Mart, whose sales have flattened this year, needs their support to start growing again. It must defeat legislation designed to drive up its employees' wages and benefits, and it must win governmental permission to open big-box stores in crowded cities and enter the banking industry. With its future hinging on its political savvy, Wal-Mart decided last December to launch a "grass-roots" campaign, Working Families for Wal-Mart, to drum up support. But again and again, WFWM's public relations efforts backfired in 2006.

Exhibit A: Civil rights icon Andrew Young agreed to serve as the campaign's public face. But just a few months into the job, he abruptly resigned after making ethnically insensitive comments.

Exhibit B: Top-notch political strategist Terry Nelson was hired to guide the campaign. But he resigned shortly after his consulting firm was linked to a Tennessee Senate campaign ad that many deemed racist.

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Cato said...


AndyRand said...

This is like the video version of a Dr. Bill dissertation. Anyone else have time to watch a 1/2 video on the web? I'm afraid I don't.

What I do know is those $4 perscriptions are great if you need the popular medication for the $4 disease. If you need a med not on the Wal-Mart formulary, your SOS cause you're going to pay near full price.
That's what's great about competition, once you've destroyed the competition you do whatever you want.

Efficiency Expert said...

Now that people can share videos at work employees can waste even more time goofing off. They may even have to go to OT just to watch their mail.

Kalvyn Clean said...

I have one prescription that is on the $4 list, and one that isn't.

So if I pay Wal-Mart for my non-$4 prescription at the same price as any other store in town, what's the big deal?

Are you saying Wal-Mart should sell all prescriptions for $4?

AndyRand said...

What if that non-list drug is $1,000/mo? Can't you see Wal-Mart is out to become the world's largest monopoly?
Soon you'll be going to Wal-Mart clinics,and buying Sam's Life insurance,on your Uncle Walton mortgage.
I finally watched the end of Cato's video. He's right the soul of Wal-Mart is in the mirror, because we can't resist a bargain, even on crap that we don't really need or even want. Gotta run, my favorite show's coming up on WALM-TV.

Cato said...

It's a TV Show -- South Park. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators, are libertarians. For example, they were very upset with Micheal Moore when he copied their animation technique to pretend that they supported his message in Bowling For Columbine (which they don't).

Anyway, the show has piercing social commentary and fart jokes. But really, the commentary is great and yes -- Wal-Mart wouldn't exist if people stopped shopping there. Simple as that.

Also Wal-Mart does help small shops in a way typically looked over. When you shop at Wal-Mart and buy cheap things you have extra money left over. Money you can spend at higher-priced specialty shops. Buy cheap food and diapers and cleaning supplies, and nice furniture. Or whatever you want. I personally do not shop at Wal-Mart more than a few times a year if that, although the one in New Richmond is quite nice (clean and not particularly cluttered) for a Wal-Mart.

Their furniture is worse than Ikea. That store is madness.

Kalvyn Clean said...

"What if that non-list drug is $1,000/mo? "

So what? It will be $1000/mo. at any other pharmacy. That's Wal-Mart's fault?

andyrand said...

You've awakened my sense of social justice. I'll rush to WAL-Mart ASAP to buy as many $1 DVDs of ISHTAR as I can fit in my shopping cart.