Wal-Mart apparently dislikes the media...

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by hotwire132002, Aug 24, 2005.

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  1. hotwire132002 macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

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    Cadillac, MI
    #1
    Gahhh... I'll start off by saying I'm sick of Wal-Mart, and sick of being kicked of of the darn place.

    Here's the story. For those of you who don't know, I'm currently working with Channel 2 News--one of our local news stations. Today, I was shooting a story about how Wal-Mart and other large chains affect the local businesses.

    So, this morning I head in to our Wal-Mart Supercenter (the biggest in Michigan, by the way :rolleyes: ), wearing a Channel 2 News shirt, carrying a huge Bogan-Manfrotto tripod and an FX1--not exactly a small camera--and the greeter asks (for some strange reason), "Oh, are you here for a return?" I responded with, "Nah, here to shoot a news story."

    They said OK, have fun with it. Very friendly. So, I head around the store for about a half hour shooting B-Roll. I asked a good few customers whether they would comment, and since none would, I was dumb enough to ask to speak to the manager. (Being a responsible reporter, I always try to get interviews from both sides of the issue)

    Anyway--the managers declined to comment. I said fair enough, and went on to shoot an on-camera stand-up saying "Although Wal-Mart declined to comment, the local businesses gave us their thoughts on the issue." I planned to use the stand up in the middle of the package--as a "transistion" stand up between the Wal-Mart focus and the local business focus.

    After shooting my stand-up, I moved the camera and prepared to grab a few more shots of B-Roll. All three managers then walked up to me, and asked how long I planned on sticking around. I said a few minutes, I had a couple more shots to grab and I was done. They said, "Why don't you leave right now." Not a question. I responded with, "May I ask why?"

    They responded with a comment about requiring written authorization to shoot ANYTHING at their store. I said that I understood, and prepared to leave. At this, they attempted to confiscate my tapes. That was one step too much--I said no way, I have a few stories on that same tape. To that, they literally chased me out of the store.

    As I packed up and headed out--I realized that the written authorization to shoot in the store was crap--when I shot the grand opening for FOX, they didn't have any issues with me shooting in the store.

    The kicker to all this--the downtown businesses all said that Wal-Mart was good for them--it brought in customers from the surrounding area.

    I got a few comments that "Oh, Wal-Mart's trying to silence the press. Call CNN!" I thought that was a bit much... so I posted here instead. ;) Anyway--sorry for the long post. I'm just fed up with Wal-Mart. I wish there was somewhere else up here to buy tapes. :rolleyes:
     
  2. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    visiting from downstream
    #2
    [expletive deleted] Wal-Mart.

    (Again, that's all I have to say about that.)
     
  3. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

    Joined:
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    Location:
    An octopus's garden
    #3
    I'm surprized you couldnt find any vocal opposition to Wal-Mart. Here in Iowa City you won't find many in favor. The opening of a Super WM has completely stripped the downtown of almost everything aside from bars.
    The really unfortunate (evil!) thing about WM is that they force local businesses out, thereby limiting actual choice. I shop at WM for a lot of things because there is no where else to go! :mad: Food, though, I will not buy there. Organic only for me...

    YOJ
     
  4. aricher macrumors 68020

    aricher

    Joined:
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    #4
    I work for a promotions company and on behalf of our clients do quite a bit of work with Wal-Mart. In the past, part of my job has required me to go out to Wal-Marts and do audits of in-store sampling programs. This basically means that I have shoot photos of the old ladies handing out samples. In order to shoot any photos inside or outside the WM we have always been required to get the manager's signature on a permission slip from WM headquarters.

    A few weeks ago Wal-Mart sent our company an order that we are 1. Not allowed to shoot any areas of the store that are not directly related to our store audits and 2. Not allowed to use any Wal-Mart images in any of our PR or advertising.

    I gather that due to lawsuits and bad press Wal-Mart is doing their best to control their image as tightly as possible. Sure hotwire132002 it makes your job and my job harder but to them it's good business. Hey, at least we don't have to work there like some small towns in this country where it's the only option.

    Believe me, I could rant for days about the evils of Wal-Mart. Maybe some other time I'll post some relevant links. For now I need to get to sleep. I just wanted to let you know that the authorization thing is their new policy - be wary when approaching the evil empire. Next time have your station manager call in advance.
     
  5. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
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    #5
    OK, this latest story has inspired me to action. I have created the attached image, which is designed SPECIFICALLY for use at CafePress.com... it's perfectly sized for one of their oval stickers. Print your own sticker (it's only $3.09 with standard shipping) and let the world know what you think of Wal-Mart!

    (I would have added the customary small text to the bottom of the sticker, but I was afraid that "[expletive deleted] WAL-MART" wouldn't have passed muster with CafePress' censors. So it's just "FWM", with the star between "W" and "M".)
     

    Attached Files:

  6. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #6
    This is not something that's new or that just happens in your store. It's Wal-Mart's corporate policy not to allow any photography inside the store. The managers of the store should have known better, and asked you to leave earlier. When I worked for Wal-Mart, we were not even allowed to let the local high school shoot a segment about "beauty products" in our store.

    I really don't blame them. I wouldn't want a media organization coming into my business and questioning my customers, whether the end result was positive or negative for my business. Customers come into a store to SHOP not to be questioned by a reporter.

    Now, if it was a public building...that's another story. BTW, I'm an editor for my college paper, so I'm not at all anti-media.
     
  7. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Joined:
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    Location:
    I live in a giant bucket!
    #7
    Its funny, Wal Mart is like death on this forum. It comes in three.

    Three posts about Wal Mart in the last week...

    k, well I thought it was kinda humorous. :p
     
  8. hogfan85 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    #8
    It's not that Wal*Mart dislikes the media, its the other way around. With all of the negative press, they seemed to be in the right by kicking you out; considering they didn't know anything about what you were reporting about before you started shooting. Shooting a grand opening is much different than just showing up and shooting inside a store. Also, you might want to take notice of the "No Soliciting" signs posted everywhere to save you next time.
     
  9. quackattack macrumors 6502a

    quackattack

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    #9
    Wow, another anti wal-mart thread so soon. Good to see!!

    ClayJ, I think I am going to order some stickers! Thanks! Although I would like to see if we can get away with [expletive deleted] Wal-Mart. They should be required for the team we started in the other thread. ;)

    Looks like google thinks the is a good place for a wal-mart ad. Go figure.
     
  10. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
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    #10
    Once I get the first sticker I ordered, I'll try again with the "[expleteive deleted] WAL-MART" text (that's exactly how I originally typed it... not putting actual profanity on my car) and see if it goes through. If so, I'm ordering a bunch of them to resell.
     
  11. quackattack macrumors 6502a

    quackattack

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    #11
    Alright, I have been further inspired.

    While I may be able to put the sticker on my car, I want to put the sticker on my sig as well. If you feel the same go right ahead.

    The team was inspired from this thread a few days ago
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=145248&highlight=wal-mart

    I think we had 6-7 members declare they wanted in.

    Between this an Clay's new logo, we may be able to start something. Wear your colors proudly. ;)
     
  12. quackattack macrumors 6502a

    quackattack

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    #12
    Wait, did this already happen?? Clay, I swear I just noticed your sig! You beat me to it!
     
  13. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
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    #13
    Actually, you did it first... I will give credit where credit is due.

    However, I was the first person in that thread to utter the actual phrase in question, so I get to be a "Founding Member" of Team FW*M. :)
     
  14. quackattack macrumors 6502a

    quackattack

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    #14
    Fair enough, this is a shared honor. ;) You utter the phrase, I started the roster and the team. This team has 2 founding members. :)
     
  15. dansuz1 macrumors member

    dansuz1

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    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #15
    I know it's fashionable to bash Wal-Mart in MR. But my wife and I find WM to be well-priced, with a great variety and friendly staff. I understand the argument that they ruin small businesses, but that is not always the case (as pointed out above). I also try to use my local small businesses for produce, hardware, etc.. first when I need small items and don't want to spend much time. But for groceries, WM is the best place for the best value.

    I absolutely agree with the many critics of WM regarding their personnel policies. It is not a place I would want to work at.
     
  16. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #16
    Sorry, I can't sympathize with a (sic) responsable reporter. IMO, reporters are as bad as Wal-Mart.
     
  17. MattG macrumors 68040

    MattG

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #17
    A Wal-Mart Supercenter just opened up (2 days ago) 1/2 mile down the *already REALLY busy* road from where I work...not happy :mad:
     
  18. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #19
    Just an update--I called up the Wal-Mart PR department, who gave me (written) permission to use the footage I shot.

    Good thing I didn't let the local store have my tapes, huh? :rolleyes:
     
  19. e²Studios macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #20
    This site is pretty informative, and i think the domain name says it all..

    http://www.wakeupwalmart.com/

    There was once a time before i educated myself that i would shop at WalMart, now i wouldnt give that company a dime.

    Some Facts from the site, im sure none of this comes as a big shock.

    Poverty level wages
    Wal-Mart pays workers too little to keep a family of four out of poverty. (Calculations by the AFL-CIO’s Department of Public Policy; Data from: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/05poverty.shtml; http://www.walmartfacts.com/doyouknow)

    Taxpayer Abuse
    Wal-Mart costs American taxpayers up to $2.7 billion per year in taxpayer funded public health care and public assistance programs. (“Everyday Low Wages:The Hidden Price We All Pay for Wal-Mart,” Democratic Staff of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives, 2/16/04; Form 10-K filed by Wal- Mart, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Fiscal Year Ended 1/31/05)

    Poor Benefits
    Fewer than half of Wal-Mart's workers are covered by the company's health plan because of long waiting periods for eligibility and high costs - and because Wal-Mart increased the number of hours per week from 28 to 34 for employees to qualify for full-time health benefits, forcing them to wait even longer for eligibility as part-timers. (2004 Wal-Mart Associate Guide; www.walmartfacts.com; Open Enrollment News, 9/03)

    Discrimination
    Wal-Mart is facing the largest gender discrimination lawsuit in history affecting more than 1.6 million female employees. In some cases, women earned $5,000 a year less than men for the same job. (The Recorder, 3/7/05; “Statistical Analysis of Gender Patterns in Wal-Mart Workforce,” Richard Drogin, PhD, February 2003)

    Child Labor
    Wal-Mart agreed to pay $135,540 to settle federal charges that it broke child labor laws. (The New York Times, 2/12/05) Three Wal-Mart stores in Connecticut were fined in mid June for a total of $3,300 for child-labor law violations. (Associated Press, 6/17/05)

    Ed
     
  20. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #21
    Umm, yeah. If I just wandered into a Wal-Mart (or any other store) without their permission and started snapping pictures, or rolling tape, I would expect to be shut down too. :confused:
     
  21. latergator116 macrumors 68000

    latergator116

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    #22
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