Wal-Mart Helps Kids Spam Parents With Gift Wishes

from the still-figuring-out-this-online-stuff dept

Wal-Mart has run into some online marketing troubles lately, with their fake MySpace ripoff and then the questions about how open they were with a supposedly independent blog. It looks like they continue to keep making bad choices, however. The latest is that parents are pissed off to find Wal-Mart spam pressuring them to buy certain gifts for their kids this holiday season. It appears that Wal-Mart has created a website for kids (with two elves named “Wally” and “Marty”) that shows them various toys and products, and asks the kids whether or not they like the toys. If the kid answers yes, the elves promise to “plead your case” to the kids’ parents, and do that in the form of emails telling them what Wal-Mart says the kids want — even though they weren’t able to make their own wishlist, but just go through a series of products clicking the equivalent of “yes” or “no” to what they might want.

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Comments on “Wal-Mart Helps Kids Spam Parents With Gift Wishes”

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Re: Re:


Wal-Mart is nothing like what Sam Walton started it for. Bet he’s turning over in his grave watching Wal-Mart use sweat shops in China to make a buck in the USA.

That 60 Min special just wasn’t enough to get regulators attentions. Wal-Mart and there monopolistic tactics need busted up just like the bells.

Anonymous Coward says:

it’s funny how people say walmart is the devil and all this, but say they love democracy and capitalism. our thinking makes walmart work the way it does. competition drives down prices. so, in order to make a profit, the cost of production must be lowered, either substandard parts, cheaper freight, packaging, or labor. since there are labor laws preventing people working for pennies an hour, walmart will pay the 2 dollar tax, mark it up enough to undercut the competition, and bam…they still make a huge profit. ifyou have a problem with that, change our capitilistic ways….demand HUGE foreign good import taxes. i’m sure that’ll go over well…

Observer says:

Re: Re:

Anon, you’re absolutely right. People love the idea of capitalism, and Wal Mart is just a perfect example of how capitalism is supposed to operate.

Small Mom and Pops are great. But Wal Mart is just a bigger fish swallowing up the smaller competition in a free market society. That’s how this country is built.

I hate Wal Mart. I think they’re business practices are appalling. But they are simply doing what every capitalistic entrepreneur wishes they could. We must decide who the real devil is this situation is.

Johnny (user link) says:

Wal-Mart is Teh Suck

I’m surprised that they thought this was a good idea. But then Wal-Mart and poorly thought out marketing schemes are becoming legendary.

They so very desperately want to be cool and hip when they are anything but.

I will never shop at Wal-Mart. They have a long, long track record of exploiting workers, localities, customers and supply chains.

foofdawg says:

my 2cents

Yet again, Wal-Mart chooses to take the corporate path and ends up probably losing revenue because of it.

I agree that asking children to provide their parents email address without their consent is wrong, although I don’t have any details on if they violated these rules. If they did, they should be reprimanded and/or punished as appropriate.

But, I do feel that the marketing team or development team that came up with this idea probably had the best intentions in mind. I can easily see them thinking that allowing a child to make a wish list of presents would in theory help both the child and the parent to have a better holiday (SHOPPING) experience.

Then again, some of the worst things have been done with the best of intentions, and I think they overlooked the fact that people hate getting unrequested emails, don’t want their child freely giving out their email address, and probably don’t want a retailer too involved in what they teach their children about what the holidays are about. (and lets not forget about the selection of toys they choose, sure to tick off the majority of parents in one way or another)

Anonymous Coward says:

You people that say buy local crack me up. None of you must have grown up or live in a small town where Wal-Mart is it and I do mean it. No Targets or K-marts no shopping malls. Where what small local business there are so over priced it isn’t funny. Where the avg. wage is $7.00 an hour. Wal-Mart is it man, there is nothing else no matter if you like them or not. Sorry I got off subject but the whole Wal-Mart is evil by local kinda got to me.

Anonymous Coward says:

in my town, price counts. people living next to poverty…walmart is the godsend. why buy local and spend 8 bucks for food items for dinner, when you can get the same for less than 5? why spend 30 bucks for a pair of work jeans when you can get them at the wall for 15?

our local wallyworld was the top sell/best store a few years back. we have mom and pops…why? cheaper = better.

more money saved…=more money to spend elsewhere (i.e. nascar, beer, cigarettes)

not the brightest of the buhc..but ya know? and did you know many rich people will buy at discount stored? why? because they were froogle before they were rich, and aren’t used to spending money on everything.

but i digress.

if the kid signs up for it, it’s nto spam. it’s the “weekly newsletter” if walmart then takes the info, sells it or begins sending unsolicited email w/o ways of ending it, that’s a problem.

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