Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wal-Mart Finds Payback’s A Bitch


Oh my god. There's video on YouTube:

Wal-mart fired the independent video production company it used to document its internal meetings, and now a video archive spanning 30 years has been opened for our perusal. Everyone from attorneys to unions to the press can now see some hidden gems from Wal-Mart’s history, for a fee.

Can you say awkward!
Those moments never meant for public display include a scene of male managers parading in drag at an executive meeting, a clip used by union-backed critics at Wal-Mart Watch for a recent advertisement castigating the retailer's attitude toward female employees.

"The videos provide insight into the company's real corporate culture when they're not in the public eye," Wal-Mart Watch spokeswoman Stacie Lock Temple said Tuesday.

Much of the interest in the candid videos is coming from plaintiff lawyers pursuing cases against Wal-Mart.

Is this legal? The production company says it is, since apparently Wal-Mart and Flagler Productions never signed a contract. Flagler is selling access to the Wal-Mart archive to stay in business.

Wal-Mart was about 95 percent of Flagler's business, Villaneuva said. The loss meant the company nearly collapsed. So it looked to its assets and realized that it could charge for access to its video library.

"We would like to go back to being a production company, but right now we're getting by as an archive," Villaneuva said.

Looks like someone just got goosed by the free hand of the market.