Richard Edelman now says that the Wal-Marting Across America flog was just “a small new media component” of “a classic publicity stunt”. Yes, and the Monica Lewinski incident was just a small part of Bill Clinton’s 8-year presidency, but he got impeached for it.
Because new media is in its infancy, mistakes will be made. You say you’re sorry, you promise you won’t do it again. You move forward. Over time, you make sure your ethical behavior in new media demonstrates your willingness to play by today’s new rules.
To do otherwise is to keep picking off a scab on a wound. It doesn’t make it get better faster. I’m ready to move on to new topics. I think Edelman should be worrying about not repeating its unethical moves, not minimizing them.
Mr. Edelman is a highly accomplished leader of a huge international PR agency. They made a big mistake — well actually four big mistakes — with their four Wal-mart flogs. The flogs may have been a small component of a larger campaign, but because they were unethical and dishonest moves by a huge PR firm and an enormous corporation, they came under wide scrutiny that damages Edelman’s credibility in the new media arena.
Saying the much-maligned flogs were just a small part of the campaign demonstrates:
a) a lack of understanding of new media and its insistence on transparency, and, above all, listening
b) a lack of remorse
Edelman commented today on my post “It Depends What “Is” Is that “The Wal-Marting across America was a classic publicity stunt designed to appeal to mainstream media with a small new media component.”
He says I quoted him out of context when I quoted what he said in a comment on Suw Charman’s post, “Edelman Must Try Harder.”
I quoted the part of his comment that says “it was a publicity stunt aimed at the mainstream media with a new media component.” Do you see the word “small?” No. Because it wasn’t there.