10/28/14 by Rennie Detore
No one ever accused Walmart of having much of a conscious. But what about a brain?
This retail giant is the largest in the world but that doesn't mean their success affords them a free pass as it relates to putting their proverbial billion dollar foot in their mouth from time to time.
The brain trust that is the Walmart brass and higher ups managed to mess with the one holiday that typically is devoid of controversy on the retail level: Halloween.
Buying candy, sitting out and waiting for Trick or Treaters or scouring the internet and your favorite stores for just the right costume typically is the general summary and synopsis of Halloween.
Only Walmart could manage to take scare up the kind of publicity that is equal parts ludicrous and laughable in preparation for Halloween.
Walmart sells Halloween costumes, which isn't exactly a revelation given they're one of the few stores where you can get eye classes, a hair cut and an oil change all in the same super store (let's just hope not by the same person).
But this year, Walmart made a mess of Halloween when they classified a section of their web site with costumes dubbed "Fat Girl Costumes." One can only assume that Walmart was trying to guide women to costumes that were larger in size, but their marketing savvy and subsequent rhetoric not only shows a serious dose of insensitivity but downright deplorable editing and proof reading from someone that deserves to be not only reprimanded but released from their duties as a result of this public relations slip up.
In what some would call typical Walmart fashion, the company responded to a customer who noticed this on the web site and called Walmart out on their blunder with one of the weakest, scripted lines you would ever hear, something about the customer and her comments are important to "us," which basically sounds like a generated, automatic response you'd get if you emailed a coworker who was "out of the office" at the moment.
You get the impression that Walmart feels so protected by its retail fortune that calling a section of its web site for women "Fat Girl," even if it is Halloween, isn't a big deal to them. The phony, PR response via Twitter should be proof of that alone.
Naturally, Walmart changed the "Fat Girl Costume" section of its web page to "Women's Plus Size Costumes" since the mistake was pointed out by the concerned and offended consumer. Does Walmart really feel badly about this or are they just covering their tracks to appease those troubled by what they did.
This reminds you of an athlete that reads a statement about how sorry and ashamed they are about what they've done but you can't pick up on one sincere bone in their body. Someone else wrote the speech, and they're saying it not because they're sorry but because they got caught.
Walmart got caught, and now they're playing the good citizen by grabbing that eraser at the end of their pencil and wiping away a huge goof, even though you distinctly get the impression that this company writes in permanent ink every chance they get, regardless of what or who they have to deal with at any given moment.
Smart? Not really. Smug? That's more like it.
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