Walmart says its PR people will no longer communicate with the Huffington Post after the AOL-owned news site published too many innaccurate stories about the retail giant.The ban came as the Huffington Post published a critique of the company’s new healthcare plan.
Walmart’s David Tovar, vice president for communications, sent this statement to the Huffington Post a few days ago:
We have made a business decision not to participate in Huffington Post articles going forward due to the one-sided reporting and unfair and unbalanced editorial decisions made by Huffington Post reporters and editors.
PR blackouts are rare but not unheard of in the media. Even when companies are unhappy with coverage, the generally prefer to keep channels open. The blanket “no comment” policy leaves Walmart with no leverage against the Huffington Post’s future coverage.
- The Huffington Post only publishes negative stories about Walmart, and never publishes positive ones. Generally, Walmart says the Huffington Post is “riddled with inaccuracies”
- The Huffington Post declined to mention Walmart’s outstanding Black Friday sales.
- The Huffington Post overstates the scale of protests against the chain.
- Walmart’s PR people have bent over backwards to help the Huffington Post with reporting but gotten short shrift in published stories.
- The Huffington Post has a special landing page just for Walmart stories, something it doesn’t do for other companies.
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