The Wal-Mart Roadshow Ommission

Strategic Public Relations: Will Edelman Walk the Talk? and Pro-Wal-Mart Travel Blog Screeches To A Halt because it was a freakin' sham!

We know PR agencies are paid to get their clients in the news, to increase mindshare, market footprint and other flaskspeak for publicity.

But what Edelman engaged in is pretty well outright fabrications of reality. A "grassroots" blog about a cross country trip with overnight stays in Wal-Mart parking lots, sponsored by Working Families for Wal-Mart, which is a paid front happy face made up by Edelman, one of the largest and, previously, well-respected PR agencies in the world.

But they attempted to game the system and pretend that this was all spur of the moment grassroots Love for TEH WAL-MART! (say it like Rocky shouted "Adrian!") When it's really nothing of the sort.

The icing is that a contributor to the blog is a photographer for the Washington post, who's since been ordered to return any money he made doing this sham blog crap, which is called a flog, stealth PR blogging. Oh yeah, Wal-Mart outfitted the RV for them too. Nice, huh?

Here's the deal, folks. People don't like Wal-Mart enough to make a blog about it without being paid. Its that simple. Edelman should have known better, I bet they do now as they sit and lick their wounds. I would certainly expect that whoever authorized the deception's no longer with the firm by now.

Follow the continuing story over at BizHack. The skinny? The silence from the Edelman blogs is deafening. And damnening.

The world has changed and its getting easier and easier to see who's been left behind.

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