Wal-Mart forced to apologize for racist cross-selling setup

BENTONVILLE, AR - The last thing Wal-Mart needs is a PR crisis. That's what it got when, on January 5, a reporter from the Baltimore area told Wal-Mart that an automated system on Walmart.com that generates film recommendations was linking a Planet of the Apes DVD to films about African Americans, including Martin Luther King.

Amy Colella, a spokeswoman for Walmart.com, said the retailer then became aware of blogs discussing the issue.

Wal-Mart's initial reaction was to remove movies from the site. Later that day, the company issued a release apologizing for the incident and announcing that it would be shutting down the automated system.

The next day, Wal-Mart issued another release stating that the automated system would be shut down until the company completed an investigation.

"As a result of our review, we have found that the offensive combinations were completely unintentional," read the statement, which included list of the other movies that were linked to the African-American films, including .

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.