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Wal-Mart PR firm pulls fake blog stunt, and runs for cover
Update: Richard Edelman has in fact finally issued a public mea culpa: "I want to acknowledge our error in failing to be transparent about the identity of the two bloggers from the outset. This is 100% our responsibility and our error; not the client's." Ouch. Early comment seems to be of the "better late than never" variety. We can't fail to notice the sound business judgment in taking the fall for Wal-Mart.

Ah, the wrath of a blogosphere scorned. Earlier this month BusinessWeek told the story of the faux blog, "Wal-Marting Across America." Ostensibly the blog was the down-homey diary of a couple RV-ing across America by way of Wal-Mart parking lots. As it turns out, the couple was getting financial incentives from Wal-Mart's public relations firm, Edelman. (This of course reminds The Browser of ugly faux blog disasters past.) Once the blood was in the water, it didn't take long for the sharks to attack. First the couple was outed, and then the blog went abruptly off-line. Now PR industry blogger Shel Holtz is laying it on thick, wondering why in this era of transparency Richard Edelman and his braintrust haven't stepped up with a mea culpa.

It's great stuff. There's nothing like a public spat between PR gurus. And it's particularly informative to learn what the PR kings do when their own scandal erupts: stay silent.
Posted by Oliver Ryan 11:15 PM 0 Comments comment | Add a Comment

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