Julie Roehm, the recently sacked head of advertising at Wal-Mart, may actually have been doing a good job. She did a good job and DaimlerChrysler, which landed her the Wal-Mart job. She then broke the hold that two agencies had had on Wal-Mart for years.
Ms. Roehm chose Draft FCB, a unit of ad group Interpublic, to handle Wal-Mart’s business. The agency is well regarded, and, whether past agency work was reponsible in come part for Wal-Mart’s poor US sales is hard to tell. But, someone had to take the fall.
Ms. Roehm’s sins seem to have been a potential relationship with another employee and taking dinners and cars from ad agencies involved in the review. Wal-Mart policy does not allow employees to take a pack of gum from suppliers.
But, that may be part of Wal-Mart’s problem. Rules obviously must be in place so that people are not given condos in Florida in exchange for business. But, to reverse a very important decision and delay the process of getting a new marketing campaign may be a mstake. Perhaps Ms. Roehm had to go, but is Draft?
Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at [email protected]. He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.
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