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Corrupt media featuring Wal Mart 'ads' as NEWS

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posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 04:38 PM
Yes I've seen lots of HYPE over new products before they are brought to market . I've just never seen 'news' stories shouting 'get your pepsi - 4 packs $10.00'.

posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 04:50 PM
reply to post by pavlovsdog

"Video News Release" ->

"Critics of VNRs have called the practice deceptive or a propaganda technique, particularly in cases in which the segment is not explicitly identified to the viewers as a VNR."

I have never seen one that was identified as a paid product placement.

Here's some more links on them if you're interested:

posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 05:13 PM
No, I'm familiar with VRN's. I dont think this is one. At least not in the way I've seen them in the past.

This is just a story that is STILL running LIVE on CNN headline news as we speak. There is banter about the story going on back and forth between the anchors and co anchors. IT wasnt produced by WALMART in any way. It was undoubtedly produced by CNN. I'm sure after they received a 'press release' from WALMART tho.

It is my understanding that a VNR is produced by an ad agancy or other independant outlet. Our government has even done this.

posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 09:45 PM
well to add,,
my local news did a similar free ad last nite

they did a whole story on the new nike michael jordans coming out---what i learned from the news:
that a limited amount are being sold 230
thaty they cost 200+ dollars
and the whole history of nike and michael jordan
and this is the 23rd version of his shoe line

and they made it sound so important to have to run out to get these because of limited numbers being sold

and here i thought news was maybe a child being kidnapped,, or a bank robbery, or house fire,, or accident---u know the usual sad , depressing, negative, tragic daily events

nope---it air jordans new limited edition shoes!!!!!hurry get in line now!!!!!!!!!!

well,,i guess at least it was a positive story---not the usual 5 daily murders in newark or philly

posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 10:50 PM
Wow.... That is just wow....

This is one of the most blatant cases of sales/news crossovers I have ever seen, and it's coming from CNN! I can understand a story about retailers having sales for superbowl Sunday or about people stocking up, but to focus on how wallmart is the best and print all the prices is ridiculous!

I work in TV news in a small market, we just started a TV station almost a year ago actually, and this is what we consider a big no no. We do feature stories every day, some of those stories are on businesses from around the area, but we cover businesses that are doing something different (chainsaw artists, glassblowers, ect... that people have never heard of. They have their own unique product and none of them advertise with us. We never say prices or anything, we tell people it exists and show them what they do, the time and love they put into it. This is an ad for Wallmart within a freaking news show...

News has this thing where you are supposed to separate yourself from sales. If you don't, you have no ethics in journalism. My boss preaches that to no end. No favortism because of advertising. We can't even let advertisers buy us a drink if we go out.

This sort of treatment for advertisers and big business isn't necessarily uncommon these days I suppose, and that is sad, but wow...

I as a member of the media I am appalled. Wallmart doesn't need free advertising on news, they are doing just fine paying for it.

posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 11:05 PM
There was a great story done many years ago on either Nightline w/ Koppel or 48 Hours which basically said that 50% of what's shown as "News" is actually paid advertisements.

Since seeing that story and having my eyes opened quite a bit, I've really started viewing media outlets with rosey glasses in an attempt to filter out what is real and what is simply targeted marketing.

Like the original question made in the OP's post - "why is this news?" I look at each headline on Yahoo homepage or MSNBC and ask the same exact thing.

Watching my local TV new broadcasts here in Dallas, I shake my head in disgust at the number of "health" warnings and alerts are shown, warning of the dangers of Drug X or Treatment Y. It's certainly not to warn you of any dangers!

Always look at these "stories" in the context of Who Gains vs Who Loses. A GM car not meeting safety standards IS NOT consumer-alert news on your local TV. It's a paid ad by Ford. So on.

posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 11:30 PM

Originally posted by AJ Lavender
I'm a freelance writer and former print journalist. The Wal-Mart example (thanks for the link; I sent them my thoughts in a pithy email) is one of the worst I've seen in a while in terms of blatant pandering to a client.

And, yes, Wal-Mart is a client. Revenues generated from advertising have much to say about what a media entity can and cannot accomplish. At the daily I worked out (withholding name to protect the guilty) we received daily a large bundle of press releases. Our senior editor would sort through the stack and select pertinent ones for insertion in the paper.

The work of transforming a release into a news story ordinarily fell to one of the interns. It's a good way to judge talent. A senior reporter would normally edit the intern's work before submitting the final article to the news room. The overwhelming majority of releases never saw final print, but the ones that did were always, always, connected to a high-end advertising client.


I used to write those for a living. If you worked for a large enough paper, you`ve probably had my work come across your desk. Sorry. (or "you`re welcome", depending..

Clients would come to my company, looking to generate media buzz about their product/service/candidacy/release etc. We were staffed by about a dozen ex-media guys, mostly former editors. We also did radio and TV production, so there was that end of it as well. One-sided interviews, complete with a script - so the TV or radio station could just plug in their own reporter.

We`d follow the news arcs religiously. Every network, every major magazine, every newspaper. How many inches of print is a story getting? Where is the story arc? Coming up, coming down? It was always nice coming in to work though - the first hour of every day was spent with my feet up at my desk, reading the morning papers, coffee on hand. Another 30 minutes to make notes, pass them off to the senior, and he would add the analysis of the day`s stories to the big board on the wall.

We would tailor the "press releases" to match the above, for maximum exposure. I`d write a release, it would go to a series of editors, and we`d get them out - timed, by experience, to land on your desk at that point of the day when your editor would start putting pressure on to meet a deadline.

The releases would be adjusted for length - based on an analysis of current trends at the specific paper being targeted. They`d be written by me (or one of many others), then run past a series of editors for final changes. We`d have done all of the background research beforehand, so it was really just a matter of making the release as timely as possible. The goal was to put out a perfect story - one which could be run with just enough changes to make the recipient feel like they were doing their job. Knock out a paragraph, rephrase a sentence, change the title, and it`s good to go. Often, they`d go out with only the header changed.

Sometimes they`d have nothing to do with our client on the surface - rather they would be used to try and guide the story over to a place where we could better fit a story about our client. That happened a lot. Quite often they`d be designed to generate hype about a specific industry sector, in advance of an IPO.

I`m not proud of it. It was dirty, at the end of the day. But I learned something important: Unless it actually happened today, if it`s in the business section, there`s an 80% or higher chance it`s not news - it`s just another form of ad. If it`s in the Entertainment section - you`re up to 90%+.

Stuff like this CNN piece with walmart - absolutely no surprise. If anything, for me it`s nice to see it so out in the open.

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 03:30 AM
"Yes I've seen lots of HYPE over new products before they are brought to market . I've just never seen 'news' stories shouting 'get your pepsi - 4 packs $10.00'."

Well............ The U.S in in a bit of a recession, and food prices have gone up, what, 10%, 15%?

Think of the class of people that usually shop at wal-mart. Struggling lower/middle class. It may not be news to you, but I'd bet it's news to them, what do you think?

You think ol' bubba from the trailer park just # a brick when he found out he can now actually afford a decent super bowl party? How about family of 4 who is barely holding on, worrying about bills. They just got a news break that they can actually afford to celebrate for a day and put their worries on the backburner for a little while.

It all fits in with the tax break.. a giant corpogovernment opiate.

Anyway, I think it's only a matter of time before news anchors start wearing logos on their jackets, or have commercials playing in the background.

MSNBC? How about Coca-Cola NBC...
"You Can't Beat the Real News"

Oh.. haha. Instead of saying "Back to you, Bob," they start saying, "I need a Coke! Back to you Bob!"

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 05:03 AM
This happens all the time in the uk and ive Never thought about it until now!

esspecialy when their is a big footy tournament or international match!

im gonna pay more attention now!

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 05:28 AM
reply to post by pavlovsdog

Hey, did they happen to say how much they were lowering the price of beer so the men get drunk while saving money and beat their wives during half time? that would have been a story, because domestic violence rates shoot through the roof in the United States each year on Super bowl the very least if it was to even barely qualify as a news story the link to the high fats and high fructose corn syrup and it's long term effects on people could have also been included if a change in the harmful effects are linked to the sale of those items. Even then it's grasping at straws. ...back to Britney Spears photographed going to the drug store and continuing coverage of the Ledger funeral..."we report, you decide"...

"save more, live better" well for some maybe. I for one won't be shopping at Wal Mart this week, I won't be watching cable news either, and I also won't be watching that ridiculous game.

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 07:06 AM
in today's competitive news market, the need for revenue is getting more and more difficult. the internet has taken away from, radio, print and television news and as a result revenue generation has become much more difficult. many news stations have now started to do "advert-news" as part of the air time agreement advertisers pay for.

this is nothing new what wal-mart has done, but it does call into question the integrity of any news organization that agrees to do so just as a way to appease the advertiser.

sadly this has become the norm for news on both the national and local level.

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 07:09 AM
Sorry nothing on the beer prices. WalMart sells beer and wine in the markets that allow it, however they absolutely never ever advertise that fact, not prices on said items. WalMart tries to stay below the Religious Right radar as much as possible.

Furthermore, the SALE prices that CNN is graciously advertising for them, are not really sales at all. You can always find these goods at these prices at one of the retailers in your area on any given week. I'd go so far as to say that the prices posted for the items are pretty much what you expect to see for them anytime at at least ONE merchant in your area.

The two main beverage bottlers (Pepsi and Coke) will subsidize the cost on a rotating weekly basis to each of the major retailers in each area. Here in my area it works like this.

week one: Retailer #1 has Pepsi 12/2.50
Retailer #2 has Coke 12/2.50

week two: Retailer #1 has Coke 12/2.50
Retailer #2 has Pepsi 12/2.50

The same pretty much holds true for the Chips and frozen pizza market as well.

Once again, WalMart showing us how much they are saving you. Adjusting one price to normal market , and raising another

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 08:53 AM
Yes America! Walmart is doing YOU a favor by cutting prices. haha

Now would be the best time to not go to Walmart. Let them starve and close stores. No one needs their junk anyway, and no one should allow themselves to be baited into spending more money because of the Superbowl.

It's amazing how all these stores are "doing you a favor" now by lowering prices when in reality they are trying to do whatever they can to keep you spending money. Don't do it!

Just my opinion.

And yes, the last thing I want to see on the news is Walmart. I absolutely hate Walmart.

I am seriously wondering why anyone watches the news on TV anymore anyway. It's all lies. Don't watch it and they can't get over with junk like that.

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 09:03 AM

Originally posted by Critical_Mass
Don't watch it and they can't get over with junk like that.

Unfortunately. Robin Meade requires my daily attention

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 09:32 AM
I really wanted to reply much sooner to this thread but I was looking for a link to another thread on Wal-Mart which explains why this "news" is actually meaningful. Unfortunately, I could not find it.

However, the gist is this:

Yes Wal-Mart sucks. It's exploitive and it's essentially like consumer crack for the American economy.

The reason why lower prices at Wal-Mart is news is because it sets pricing standards for virtually all sectors of the retail industry. From toiletries to clothing to food products, the manufacturing specifications and delivery systems of virtually all products are controlled by Wal-Mart because their volume dictates how manufacturers are able to produce products for other retailers.

You might think there is a wide variety of perfectly acceptable toilet paper at competing Target or your local grocer but, most likely, that toilet paper was manufactured and priced by Wal-Mart standards.

In other words, as goes Wal-Mart, so goes the rest of the retail sector. Wal-Mart's lower prices are a direct reaction to consumer habits, in this case, they are not spending their money so Wal-Mart is enticing them by lowering their already low prices. Other retailers will have to follow to maintain their portion of the market share, if not, they will eventually go out of business.

Rest assured that this is a corodinated effort by both the government and corporations to prop up consumer spending which is really all that is left of America's economy. The real question is: If they can lower prices so drastically, then why were they charging so much in the first place?

It has long been suspected that major retailers and manufacturers have colluded in price fixing to bilk as much profit as possible from the American consumer while money was flowing freely due to easy credit and the housing boom. They made hay while the sun shined because it was evident to most economists that the party train was going to have to come to a stop sometime.

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 09:41 AM
reply to post by Critical_Mass

I couldn't agree with this post more. It may be tempting to open your pocket books but the real way to fix the American economy is to consume less. When you do buy, try to buy local products or products made in the USA. But good luck with that as everything is manufactured in China - that's why it's cheap. Practically free labor. Chinese workers can hardly afford to buy Chinese products and that is where the U.S. is headed.

Another answer is the Fair Tax which would alllow more companies to bring their manufacturing facilities back to the U.S. But then that's another thread...

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 09:51 AM
US comsumption is way out of hand. Just the amount of garbage that most American families produce, which is a result of what they are 'consuming' is amazing. Packaging, wrappers, discarded un wanted items, continue to fill our landfills.

Regarding China and Economic stimulus -

Rather than sending this check of 'x' amount of dollars in the form of a 'refund' to US taxpayers in effort to 'prop up' the economy what if.....

They issue a card like a debit card with a limit on it equal to whatever the amount of the 'refund' is to be. The difference being - this card can only be used to purchase US made goods.

Seems this would have a more direct effect on the economy. It would put money back into American factories and also force the consumer to 'wake up' and realize how little is 'made in the USA' anymore.

Thius would be particularly poignant when comsumers go to WalMart and try to spend this refund on US goods on sale at WalMart. This alone might cause Sam Walton to rise from the grave and go on a murderous spree thru the WalMart executive offices

Didnt WalMart rise to prominance on slogans like

'buy american'
'made in the USA'

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 10:09 AM
Best not to get your news from MSM any longer. I hate to say that even BBC cannot be trusted.

[edit on 30-1-2008 by tyranny22]

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 10:30 AM
Where I live Wal-mart has successfuly driven out the competition. If you want to eat in this town its fast food or shop at Wal-mart. The only sales circular we get in our local paper is from Wal-mart. Its also right in the middle of town so no matter where you go you have to drive past it.

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 10:46 AM
Here are some thoughts that apply:

The media serve the interests of state and corporate power, which are closely interlinked, framing their reporting and analysis in a manner supportive of established privilege and limiting debate and discussion accordingly." Noam Chomsky

"The United States is evolving into an a corporate oligarchy that merely wears the trappings of a democracy." Robert Kaplan

"The twentieth century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy." Alex Carey

"fascism - A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism." The American Heritage Dictionary, 1983

"The United States has only one party - the property party. It's the party of big corporations, the party of money. It has two right wings; one is Democrat and the other is Republican." Gore Vidal

And the one that most applies to Wal-Mart, with their rise to dominance being established with the slogan - "Made in the U.S.A.":

"If fascism ever came to the United States, it would be wrapped in an American flag." Huey Long

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