December 9, 2006

Wal-Mart Culture/Marketing Clash

Two interesting articles on the identity conflict underway (perhaps being resolved?) at Wal-Mart:
  • Michael Barbaro & Stuart Elliott:
    Yesterday, in a surprising rebuke, Wal-Mart overturned Ms. Roehm’s choice to replace the company’s longtime advertising agencies — a decision that puts $580 million worth of marketing up for grabs again, two months after the original search process ended.

    Her departure has roiled Madison Avenue and sent several major agencies scrambling to dust off their marketing plans for the nation’s largest retailer.

    At the heart of the controversy, everyone agreed, is a culture clash. Ms. Roehm, a 35-year-old rising star who won acclaim in advertising circles for her work in the automobile industry, was never at home within the painstakingly modest by-the-books culture of Wal-Mart.
  • Michael Barbaro & Stuart Elliott:
    t was the kind of bold advertising campaign that Wal-Mart executives agreed was needed to attract style-hungry consumers: a series of commercials featuring two sisters — one a regular Wal-Mart shopper, the other not — trying to redecorate their homes.

    In commercials set to run throughout this holiday season, the sisters were to discover that Wal-Mart offers a lot more than low prices.

    But in July, as gasoline prices spiked, senior executives abruptly scrapped plans for the so-called sisters campaign, sending a marketing team led by Julie Roehm scrambling to create a replacement, according to people involved in the process. The reason was that the ads did not focus enough on low prices.
Posted by James Zellmer at December 9, 2006 10:18 PM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Advertising | Business | Culture