"Walmart used to annoy me with its horrible labor practices, draconian rules, and blatant manipulation of the media, but now it's gone past annoyance to bafflement," writes marketing consultant K.D. Paine. "The latest was the firing of their VP of Marketing because she allegedly went for rides in an Aston Martin and accepted dinners from Agencies pitching their business. ... Their message is: we're all about ethics. Which might be believable for a nanosecond, except that the agency behind the biggest ethics scandal to hit the blogosphere in awhile (and presumably the PR person who okay-ed those fake blogs) are still happily employed." Michael Deaver, a former chief of staff for President Reagan, is now helping to oversee the Wal-Mart account as a vice chairman at the Edelman PR firm.
By Sheldon Rampton on December 10, 2006