Wal-Mart, the retail icon, taking on yet another strategy when sitting somewhat comfortably, (a business is never comfortable or should not be so comfortable), especially when the one to “beat.” Advertising strategy is as any strategy and that is with risk. An example of such risk is investing and the risk tolerance for each individual, conservative, moderate, or aggressive specific to goals. Wal-Mart is able to take the aggressive stance but not necessary because of their national, soon-to-be (?), global success but can never consider permanent. As said, it is much more difficult to remain on top than to work towards the top.
The latest advertising campaign is one of a surprisingly risky and unique platform for Wal-Mart. Still attempting to disassociate itself from the negative image of a discriminatory violator of employee rights and participant of extensive bribery allegations gave way to an, as interpreted, defensive almost challenging response from a seemingly naïve, oblivious, and loyal Lee Scott, CEO or one only too aware and guilt driven angry. That is giving the CEO the benefit of the doubt unless privy to undocumented evidence to refute the crimes allegedly committed. A lengthy investigation into the bribery allegations includes that sometime in January 2006, the case had reached a critical juncture. Wal-Mart’s leaders were again weighing whether to approve a full investigation that would inevitably focus on a star executive already publicly discussed as a potential successor to Mr. Scott, (Barstow, David, 2012); the same quoted in the latest ad campaign.
Wal-Mart’s ethics policy offered clear direction. “Never cover up or ignore an ethics problem,” the policy states and some who were involved in the investigation argued that it was time to take a stand against signs of rising corruption in Wal-Mart’s global operations. Each year the company received hundreds of internal reports of bribery and fraud, records showed. In Asia alone, there had been 90 reports of bribery just in the previous 18 months. After years of investigation that turned up evidence upon evidence to validate corruption and illegal activity, ultimately resulted in “swept under the rug” acceptance and closing of the investigation.
With the closing of another “money=innocence” case offers the opportunity to focus on the latest advertising campaign left to surmise its intent. Somewhat biased after a brief research of Wal-Mart remarkably did not affect the initial perception and is as thus: In response to, “. . . when special-interest groups and critics spread misinformation about Wal-Mart, the public deserves to hear the truth, everyone is entitled to their own opinions about our company, but they are not entitled to make up their own facts.” * The intent here is a “We are so confident in our innocence of unsubstantiated allegations we can be so bold to force a code of ethics we abide by and cannot be reasonably denied upon and challenge anyone attempting.” A portrayal of morals and ethics defended is one perception.
* The possible negative impact is the audacity Wal-Mart has to tell anyone what or how to think, act, or live. * Attempting to reach further than their established target market, a newspaper ad appeals to a different market that as of yet not a typical Wal-Mart shopper can validate this new strategy. * Creative execution, as interpreted, is the driving force of such a bold and challenging advertisement. Its effectiveness of this campaign has not rendered statistics to my knowledge, but as an already not impressed by pricing, customer service, and the whole Wal-Mart shopping experience consumer, this advertisement does not improve their chances of my being a regular if at all customer.
For a value shopper that I consider myself avoids Wal-Mart for reasons aforementioned and the cleanliness factor, the employees lack of knowledge of products and location of products, and the much too often out of stock issues encountered leaves desperation the only reason to shop in a Wal-Mart.
Barstow, David. (2012, April 21). Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle. Retrieved from New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/business/at-wal-mart-in-mexico-a-bribe-inquiry-silenced.html?pagewanted=all
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