Maybe we should call it Walmole.

First the predatory retailer had a fake blogger “Walmarting Across America” to proclaim that every Walmart employee “absolutely loves to work at the store.”

Now comes “Zoe Mitchell” (via Jim Romenesko):

PR WOMAN WORKING FOR WALMART POSES AS REPORTER TO SPY ON PRO-LABOR GROUP

The woman [on the left] said she was USC student Zoe Mitchell and was interested in the plight of Walmart warehouse workers. Now we find out that “Ms. Mitchell” is actually Stephanie Harnett, a PR woman who was spying on a pro-labor group.

“Even within the PR industry it is considered horribly unethical and scandalous to pose as a reporter in order to spy for a client,” writes Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan, a former PR Week reporter. “It is not ‘fair play,’ even in the cutthroat world of Wal-Mart PR.”

It turns out that Walmart agrees with Nolan. The company tells him: “These actions were unacceptable, misleading and wrong. Our culture of integrity is a constant at Walmart and by not properly identifying herself, this individual’s behavior was contrary to our values and the way we do business.”

Or maybe we should call it Waltart.

 


John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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