Wal-Mart Marketing Blamed For Trampling Death


We’re not so sure we’d disagree.

Advertising Age: Security should have been better, but advertising also helped kill a temporary worker at Wal-Mart, according to a lawsuit filed by the estate and relatives of the 34-year-old man trampled by a pre-dawn Black Friday crowd at a Valley Stream, N.Y., store.

At least one local police official and one retail marketing consultant also argue that Black Friday marketing and merchandising practices need to change in the wake of the incident.

A complaint filed today in New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx on behalf of survivors of the fallen worker, Jdimytai Damour, claims that besides failing to provide adequate security, Wal-Mart “engaged in specific marketing and advertising techniques to specifically attract a large crowd and create an environment of frenzy and mayhem,” according to published reports.

…”When you advertise products, and you market it heavily, and it garners public interest, and it’s great bargains with limited quantities of merchandise, and you have a crowd that can grow beyond the quantity available, it is a recipe for disaster,”  [Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey] said criminal charges are unlikely.

He also said Wal-Mart didn’t appear to have enough security to handle the crowds and that police had told retailers in the county two weeks earlier that security and crowd control were their responsibility.