Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Wal-Mart/Blogger Story — Winding Down

It was a hoot while it lasted, but the story about the Wal-Mart campaign to cultivate sympathetic bloggers by sending them tips and leads, broken right here two days ahead of the New York Times, is winding down.

The blog Crazy Politico’s Rantings has been following it, and has posted a two part roundup of reaction. Here is part one, and here is part two.

Finally, web oriented Ad/PR site Adotas has published its own take on the story. Like everybody outside the hard left, they could see nothing sinister about the Wal-Mart campaign:
Try as he may, [Times reporter] Barbaro could not villanize Wal-Mart in this case. They followed in the wake of a number of companies who have used interaction in the blogosphere to promote the advantages of their product, such as General Electric, Cingular Wireless, and Microsoft with the Xbox 360, simply carrying the strategy a bit further to encompass the promotion of their entire brand image. Edelman must be credited with both the effectiveness of the campaign as well as an uncompromising compliance with ethical standards.
And further:
The fact is, bloggers are just beginning to experience the same barrage of corporate PR that other journalists have dealt with, and indeed relied upon, for many many years. Press releases and corporate mailings have always been a huge part of a reporter’s sources, but that doesn’t mean their intrinsic slant has to make its way in to the story.
And that’s the only sensible conclusion.


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