The public relations war waged by groups like Wal-Mart Watch and Wake Up Wal-Mart on the country's largest employer—and for a long time, biggest corporate villain—appears to be entering détente. Nearly half of the staffers at the two organizations have been let go, and Wal-Mart has in turn, scaled back its public relations efforts—which were ramped up several years ago to engender good will in the face of heavy criticism.
May 8, 2008
Wal-Mart opened its annual meetings to reporters for the first time yesterday, announcing a variety of measures aimed at repairing its image among American consumers. At the center of the reforms are Wal-Mart's health care plan — which is now used by more than half of its retail employees— and a suddenly vigorous devotion to environmental responsibility. CEO H. Lee Scott promised that Wal-Mart will continue to expand its sales of environmentally responsible products and work with its suppliers to strengthen their environmental standards.
January 24, 2008
From its early days, Ben & Jerry's has been associated with the counter-culture of the 1960s and flavors such as Cherry Garcia have allowed the company to market itself as groovy and socially responsible. Yet, franchise owners have increasingly complained of unethical business dealings by the company that is no longer owned by Ben and/or Jerry.
December 4, 2007
In recent years, Wall Street has increasingly looked at Wal-Mart’s business plan as the ideal for ‘big box’ companies. This attitude has caused other major retail corporations to copy Wal-Mart—what BusinessWeek called‘Wal-Martization’—in order to lower labor costs and increase profit margin.
October 27, 2007
The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering a series of measures designed to enhance the power small shareholders have in operation of a company. The reforms face stiff opposition from Wall Street and corporate boardrooms, who have long held that any democratic interference in the direct management of a firm threatens its bottom line.
October 24, 2007