“It’s hard to know exactly when it happened, just as it’s impossible to know if, or when, it will end. But for now, it’s clear: We’re all Wal-Mart’s bitches.” – John Dicker
I have to admit, I’m fascinated by Wal-Mart. I’ve written about this phenomenon before, as well as noted how Wal-Mart’s bumbling PR negates the effects of lead agency Bernstein-Rein’s shiny happy image ads when it compares its opponents to Nazi book-burners.
So naturally, I highly recommend John Dicker’s new book The United States of Wal-Mart.
Dicker isn’t a cheerleader for Wal-Mart, but he also isn’t a complete Wal-Mart basher, either. He goes to great lengths to describe the retailer’s history, evolution, culture, growth curve, current PR and merchandising tactics, as well as all the opposition to Wal-Mart’s growth and labor practices. He assesses how America today has embraced Wal-Mart for both good and bad. It’s well-annotated and researched.
Everyone in advertising has clients who are directly or indirectly affected by Wal-Mart. So it’s best to understand the retailer as much as possible. Get this book.