Wake Up Walmart!

Jonathan Bernstein crisis avoidance, crisis management, Crisis Prevention, Erik Bernstein, Jonathan Bernstein, PR, public relations, reputation management 2 Comments

The products you choose to carry can create serious crisis management issues

Walmart may want to put its buyers through some crisis management training after a couple of Halloween-related fails made headlines recently, starting with the retail giant being blasted for carrying a rubber  “Dead Dog Prop” made to look as if it’s been skinned and run over by a car.

Just days after animal rights advocates succeeded in pushing Walmart into removing the product from its online store, Consumerist’s Laura Northrup put the spotlight on another questionable-at-best product hitting shelves:

Every Halloween, we’re at the forefront of showing you who the Costume Industry Gods have decided needs to be “sexy” this year. Little girls as sexy pirate wenches? Dogs as sexy Catholic schoolgirls? This year, Walmart helps you to start your toddler daughter off early with the “Naughty Leopard” costume.

Seriously, how does this even make it onto store shelves? While the costume itself isn’t offensive, it’s pretty much universally known these days that “naughty” in conjunction with a Halloween costume means, well, let’s just say “promotes the appearance of promiscuity.”

Once again we’re brought to the point that, in your actions as a business, you absolutely must consider how your actions, the actions of your employees, and, in the case of a retail store, the products you CHOOSE to carry, could draw negative attention. Once you’re aware of that, you can do as you wish, as long as you’re willing to live with the consequences.

The BCM Blogging Team

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