How NOT to start a revolution
Gothamist recently posted about activists who appeared to be protesting Wal-Mart but were slyly handing out Wal-Mart-sponsored flyers. Thing is, those apparently Wal-Mart-sponsored flyers were in fact sponsored by critics Wal-Mart Watch. Confused? Yes, and so, I imagine, were many people who got the flyers and mistook them for some kind of change of heart by Wal-Mart.
The flyers quote Sam Walton favorably and describe reforms critics WISH Wal-Mart would do without making clear that Wal-Mart hasn't actually done then.
“If you want people in the stores to take care of the customers, you have to make sure you are taking care of the people in the stores.” - Sam Walton
WAL-MART WILL AGGRESSIVELY WORK to ensure that employees are never mistreated through practices such as illegal firings, "off-the-clock" wage violations, intimidation, sexual harassment, violations of child labor laws, or discrimination of any sort. And Wal-Mart will justly compensate each associate with a family-sustaining wage that will enable the associate to raise a family without having to rely on public assistance.
So maybe Gothamist doesn't need to correct itself after all. The flyers weren't endorsed by Wal-Mart, true, but they work as feel-good advertising for Wal-Mart regardless. Someone, please, Wake Up Wal-Mart Watch and kick 'em a good swift kick in the head!
Posted by carrie on 05/24/2006 | Permalink
Although it seems to have back-fired in this case, I kind of like the idea of the utopic-fantasy-land-made-real-if-only-on-paper approach. But that's kind of my whole thing. Reminds me of the Yes Men's Bhopal stunt. Just out of curiosity, where do you think Wal-Mart Watch went wrong compared to the Yes Men? I suppose the Yes Men made sure the media play went the way they intended...
Posted by: Steve Lambert | May 24, 2006 9:00:30 PM
Those folks also took out a full-page ad in the Times the other day. I too was briefly confused but then I figured it out.
Posted by: ben42 | May 24, 2006 10:18:46 PM
well, not only is the Wal-Mart Watch effort not funny, it's not intended as satire. It's a poorly constructed, unintentionally ambiguous activist campaign.
Posted by: carrie | May 25, 2006 1:53:01 AM