Wal-Mart Busted for Astroturfing, Again

By Joe Ciarallo Comment


Apparently, Wal-Mart hasn’t learned that it is unethical to set up fake grassroots advocacy groups to support the company’s initiatives.

The blog Chicagoist has uncovered that the company, with the help of PR firm Serafin Associates and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, is behind a fake advocacy group, “Our Community. Our Choice.”

The group is promoting the potential opening of a new Wal-Mart store in the Chicago metro area. Serafin in particular was caught posting comments on Chicagoist under an alias, all of which were in support of the new Wal-Mart store.

Wal-Mart was famously busted for astroturfing back in 2006, in conjunction with Edelman.

Golin Harris, Cohn & Wolfe and Porter Novelli all currently have parts of the Wal-Mart PR business.