David Casts Stone At Goliath

Promo Magazine: Oklahoma grocer Super H filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores for using a scanner to collect barcode data from products on Super H’s shelves.
The suit, filed in Osage County District Court on June 13, alleges that Wal-Mart sent workers into Super H to check prices as Wal-Mart readies to open a supercenter nearby in August.
Super H isn’t worried about the price information; its real concern is other data the scanner may have captured, such as inventory and wholesale price. “We’re trying to get [the scanner] back and find out what’s in there,” said Super H manager Greg McNeil.
Police confiscated the scanner and still have it; a county judge granted Super H’s request that the scanner not be returned to Wal-Mart.
Skiatook, OK-based Super H is a single, independent store.
It’s not uncommon for retailers to check competitors’ prices. The real question in this case is whether a scanner can capture proprietary data.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.