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Flogging Edelman: It’s Whoopass Time!

The (Not So) Micro ‘Persuasions’ of Steve Rubel:

Ok, I guess it’s about time that the Bloke waded in on this controversy.

Unless you have been living in a vacuum, you should know that the blogosphere has exploded over a blog that was created by the self-proclaimed ‘influencers of influencers‘ — i.e. Edelman, the king of spin doctors… er, I mean the well known Public Relations agency.


Apparently Edelman helped Walmart to set up a blog called “Wal-marting Across America” that bloggers have criticized saying it misled the audience. The blog was made to look like it was authored by a couple who were traveling across America in their RV and parking nightly at your friendly neighbourhood WalMart. But it turns out that it was in fact a fake blog (flog) that was written by employees of an Edelman agency. Hoowa!

Despite the fact that so-called crusading blogger Steve Rubel is a Vice President, the PR agency seems to believe that it can pull one over the blogosphere and invent the news, at a time when consumers and the media are demanding more transparency and honesty. It really makes you go hmm don’t you think? (Rhetorical question).

Here No Evil, See No Evil, Say No Evil:

If I were Steve, (and if he really is serious about blogging) he should be considering other employment right about now. Then again, call me cynical if you want but I’ve often suspected that Rubel was more about opportunism than pure blogging. And the way he has handled this only makes me wonder how far removed he really was from the fiasco.

No matter how wishful Rubel may be this is just not going to go away. If he no longer wants to be monkey in the middle and wishes to distance himself from the controversy (and being the good PR man he apparently is) he should know better, and that he needs to step up to the plate more than he has and be “transparent” with the blogosphere.

In case you don’t know Steve, that means taking the bull by horns instead of sticking your head in the sand. Resting on the fifth amendment is the same as a guilty plea in the eyes of the public jury. And the blogosphere is no exception.

Enjoying a high profile job with the firm entails taking the heat as well as the benefits that come with the job. So take responsibility and eat a little crow. It will do wonders for your character. After all, with your PR skills you should have no trouble spinning this one off.

Just a little friendly advice Steve (no charge).

Filed under: instabloke, blog, blogging, edelman, business, walmart

Written October 22nd, 2006 by | 8 Comments | Filed under: Business Tips

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There are 8 Comments so far to “Flogging Edelman: It’s Whoopass Time!”

  1. I find it really hard to believe that Rubel new nothing about it. After, wasn’t he hired because he was the blogging ‘expert’? And he is the Vice President. It really does make me go “hmm”.

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  2. Even if he didn’t have anything to do with it (which I highly doubt), he is an executive officer in the company and should take some responsibility. At the very least for not educating his colleagues, being that he is the so-called ‘expert’ blogger and all.

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  3. First, thank you for the advice.

    Second, when you achieve a certain level of success - no matter who you are - there are people who can’t wait to see you fall. I accept that this is part of the territory.

    Edelman as a company erred. No doubt. However, I have never been prouder of this organization and I will work day in night to make sure we make it all up to you.

    Convinced? If not, I understand. But watch us.

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  4. Thanks Steve.

    “when you achieve a certain level of success - no matter who you are - there are people who can’t wait to see you fall”.

    I hope you are not implying yours truly because that certainly isn’t the case. It would also depend on what your interpretation of “success” really is (or at what cost) because I think we would differ on that point.

    “Edelman as a company erred.”

    Without pointing any fingers, don’t you think it is also important for certain individuals to take responsibility as well?

    Just a suggestion.


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  5. Blaming it on the “company” isn’t the same as taking personal responsibility.

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  6. I think it is immature of Rubel to blame his recent fall from grace on professional jealousy. Rubel and company are the author of their own demise. Take responsibility and suck it up, and spare us the antics.

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  7. Second, when you achieve a certain level of success - no matter who you are - there are people who can’t wait to see you fall. I accept that this is part of the territory.

    That is so incredibly obnoxious, Steve. I used to be the biggest fan of Edelman. I met with Robert Pikard once at some communications event, here in Tokyo. Very nice guy. No prejudice or bad feelings whatsoever. Even though you guys had and still have a horrid anti-technorati website, unusable superficial and boring as hell, I truly believed Edelman was the only communications agency that understands conceptually what is going on right now. Stupid and naive as I am, I even complimented him on the Technorati deal. Imagine that.

    But the deeper I look into it I realized, that you’re just a bunch of cynics. Not even hypocrites, cynics.

    I am happy to be called stupid, idealist, dreamer, whatever by a cynic. Because it either means the contrary or it doesn’t mean anything. But “jealous” just doesn’t work at this point. Cynics incite lots of reactions: Anger, disgust, disinterest. Jealousy is not a very common one.

    In my initial article I held back, because of professional reasons (and quite honestly because I feel sorry for Robert Pickard, who has to hold a speech about blogging an PR in a couple of days in front of the Tokyo CEO creme). But you just push my buttons, so here is what I wrote on my private closed blog (asoboo.com):

    I dug up this story and stirred up quite some dirt. Man business is f##### up at times. Check it out:

    So there is this PR uncle, that pretends to push for the new world; new: You know, where old world advertisement and bullshitting people with lame claims and shiny ads doesn’t work, and the uncle CEO even gets into blogging and openness, and advocates this new order whenever he speaks… Nice I thought. Fantastic. I am not alone.

    …but in the background he sends out people to put up fake blogs with phony propaganda for Wal-Mart, all orchestrated by some right wing blogger.

    When caught in the act, he first attacks Malkinlike the “main stream media” for tapping on bloggers fingers.

    Next he cuts a deal with the blogging watch core piece “Technorati” while advocating transparency he pulls another fake blog stunt with Wal-Mart.

    He gets caught in the act again, and finally he apologizes, but man, at this point you just lost all credibility.

    And now you tell us again that we’re just jealous. We are just simply upset. Because you speak like us and act like the biggest phony around. You better come down from your Orwellian horse, man, and join the party down here.

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  8. Good stuff from good people.

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