Wal-Mart Smear Campaign

The Julie Roehm vs. Wal-Mart saga is back in the trade press

Advertising Age - Roehm: Wal-Mart Conducting 'Smear Campaign' :
Complaining of being outmanned by Wal-Mart's army of “private investigators, computer hackers, ex-CIA operatives, former FBI men and an army of public-relations operatives,” Julie Roehm is charging her former employer with orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her.

Ms. Roehm, who sued the retailer after she was dismissed last year, issued a press release today, just over a week after Wal-Mart filed its own counterclaim. In her statement, Ms. Roehm denied the substance of that lawsuit, which alleges that she had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate and with an ad agency that led to her sacking.

Wal-Mart's 28-page complaint references e-mails between Ms. Roehm and former VP-Communications Architecture Sean Womack, who was fired along with her, that the company says is evidence of a romantic affair, something that's forbidden by Wal-Mart's ethical code. In her statement, Ms. Roehm, whose lawsuit continues, called the use of e-mail “selective.”

“When you patch together pieces of messages sent at different times, you can create pretty much any story you want,” she wrote. “As in other cases, Wal-Mart has attacked the victim.”
Ms. Roehm, who was hired from Chrysler Group to help shake up Wal-Mart's staid marketing approach early last year, suggested that her dismissal may be due to sexism at Wal-Mart. “Perhaps some did not like following or taking the advice of a woman.”

She continued, “Under cover of a counterclaim, Wal-Mart is insinuating things about my personal life and pretending I violated some code of ethics with advertisers, all to distract from the reality that it didn't want my form of progressive marketing.”

There is undoubtedly a large portion of truth to her assertion of sexism. But why would she take the job in the first place? Sounds like a nightmare assignment.

Exit Roehm Left

Draft Gets Shaft

Roehm vs. Wal-Mart

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on March 28, 2007 6:10 PM.

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