Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Edelman WalMart Blog Fiasco

Well, what a mess. Edelman created a fake blog that was not identified as such for their client. Jaffe, among others says the appology leaves him feeling a little empty.

WOMMA's got a statement up, and generally forgives and understands that "mistakes will be made". This is clearly a big black eye for Edelman; they are among the elite agencies when it comes to CGM and citizen media and word-of-mouth.

Which, I think, is precisely why we should allow them a little lattitude on this one. They have a top-notch reputation. I don't really see piling on them at this point to do much good. The good guys got caught doing what they shouldn't have. But I have a hard time believing that they sat in a room and said "you know what? we should totally trick people".

Falling on their sword is the right thing to do. Of course, appologizing once you've been caught is (relatively) easy. If they found this out on their own and corrected it, it would be good. But now that they've been pulled out to the spotlight, they are certainly doing the right thing. Knowing a few of the people at Edelman certainly leads me to give them more than the benefit of the doubt.

I know that they are doing training internally and recommitting to the WOMMA guidelines. But they should also make absolute sure that the people at the top who really, really get what's going on are involved down at the execution level.
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