The PR department at Walmart has gone nuclear.
The big-box retailer told its PR staff to stop communicating with The Huffington Post
after the website—itself a sort of big-box dealer of news—published what Walmart considers one too many inaccurate articles.
This is the second time in a week that Walmart has made the declaration.
Last week, Walmart Vice President of Communications David Tovar sent the following statement informing the HuffPost of its decision
“We have made a business decision not to participate in Huffington Post articles going forward due to the one-sided reporting and unfair and unbalanced editorial decisions made by Huffington Post reporters and editors.”
On Tuesday, the company reiterated its position after the website published a story
saying Walmart plans to stop offering health benefits to newly hired part-time workers. A spokesman for the retailer told Politico
the article was “ridiculed with inaccuracies.” (HuffPost
stands by the story.)
Randy Hargrove added: “[The story] reinforces our company’s decision to no longer participate in the Huffington Post
’s one-sided rhetoric.”
The Huffington Post
isn’t denying the claim that it has Walmart in its crosshairs.
"We plead guilty to singling out the nation's single largest private employer for significant coverage," HuffPost
business editor Peter Goodman says. "We stand by our work."
As an example of this singling out, HuffPost created a landing page
for (almost all negative) stories about Walmart.
Ending communication with a media outlet, particularly one as large as The Huffington Post, is a move that PR counselors rarely advise. So did Walmart make the right decision, or is it a foolish one?