Wal-Mart Responds To Roehm In A Big Way

Man, this is really airing dirty laundry in public. From today’s New York Times::

Wal-Mart asserted yesterday in a court filing that two of its former top marketing officials had engaged in a sexual relationship during the process of selecting new advertising agencies and had sought jobs with one of the agencies they ultimately recommended.
Wal-Mart backed up its assertions with what it said were e-mail messages sent by Ms. Roehm and Mr. Womack, both married, from their work and private accounts.
“I hate not being able to call you or write you,” Ms. Roehm wrote early last fall, according to an e-mail message Mr. Womack’s wife provided to Wal-Mart. “I think about us together all the time. Little moments like watching your face when you kiss me.”

But it doesn’t stop there:

Wal-Mart said in the filing that Ms. Roehm and Mr. Womack had lengthy career discussions with Tony Weisman, then the global growth officer of Draft FCB, and that those discussions had tainted the agency review process. Wal-Mart also asserted that Ms. Roehm shared internal company e-mail messages with Mr. Weisman and Mr. Draft, the chief executive of Draft FCB.
Mr. Womack wrote e-mail messages to Mr. Weisman signing them “Sean and Julie” that discussed the two leaving Wal-Mart to work in a venture with Draft FCB, Wal-Mart said in its filing. In one message cited, he said they would want an equity stake and discussed timing: “What do the next 60-360 days look like for your guys? When will it be too late?” he wrote in August.

Today’s lessons:
1) Watch those e-mails. They live forever.
2) Keep in mind that when you sue a company that hires lawyers by the dozen, you’re in for a tough fight.

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About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.