Wal-Mart director resigns after Nazi ad draws criticism

BENTONVILLE, AR - A Wal-Mart community affairs director has resigned after the retailer was criticized for running an ad equating an anti-Wal-Mart effort with Nazi book-burning.

Peter Kanelos had been the chain's community affairs director for Arizona and Southern California.

His last day will be Friday June 10, said Daphne Moore, Wal-Mart's director of community affairs. Moore would not discuss why Kanelos resigned or whether Wal-Mart asked him to leave.

His office approved an ad which ran in the May 8 Arizona Daily Sun with a picture from a 1933 Nazis book burning.

Wal-Mart ran the ad as part of a campaign to defeat a local ballot measure that would have restricted the chain's ability to open new stores in Flagstaff. The initiative was defeated at the polls.

Kanelos told the Washington Post via e-mail that he resigned "on mutually agreeable terms" but didn't say whether his resignation was directly connected to the ad.
Wal-Mart opponents were quick to react to his resignation.

Wal-Mart Watch, an anti-Wal-Mart coalition, said the retailer did the right thing by accepting Kanelos' resignation but added in a statement to the media that the ad showed "the level to which Wal-Mart would stoop in its insatiable pursuit of corporate growth."

The group called the ad "another stunning public relations gaffe" by Wal-Mart.

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

Already registered?
Sign in