O'Dwyer's has more revelations about the multifaceted fakery engaged in by Wal-Mart and its PR firm, Edelman. Edelman staffers have been posing as "grassroots" bloggers on two Wal-Mart websites, for the Working Families for Wal-Mart front group and paidcritics.com, which -- rather ironically -- slams the "paid critics [who are] smearing Wal-Mart." The paid bloggers are Edelman's Miranda Gill, Brian McNeill and Kate Marshall. A post by Marshall praises a Wall Street Journal editorial for exposing "Wake Up Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart Watch as front groups of the union leaders." If you can take more hypocrisy, read Advertising Age's article on how Edelman "is being aligned with a newly coined word for its present crisis" over walmartingacrossamerica.com: "flog," for "fake blog." AdAge points out that Edelman helped write the Word of Mouth Marketing Association's (WOMMA's) code of ethics, which states, "Never obscure your identity." Asked why WOMMA is not sanctioning Edelman, WOMMA CEO Andy Sernovitz said, "We aren't the police. Associations don't punish. And look, PRSA didn't even say a word, and they are the PR association." Maybe that's because PRSA is too busy defending undisclosed fake news.
By Diane Farsetta on October 20, 2006