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• Wal-Mart said yesterday that it is adding customer product reviews – long a staple of sites like and Netflix – to its website. The company said that customers can submit their critiques of Wal-Mart’s products, and that five days later – after they are reviewed by the company – the reviews will be posted online.

The numbers that could be generated by this move are considerable, since Wal-Mart estimates that 75 percent of its 130 million shoppers are active online.

• The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that when Wal-Mart advertises its back-to-school merchandise, it will “emphasize its product selection while striking an emotional chord with customers -- a sharp departure from its usual price-centric pitches.” The decision comes after a spring during which sales were said to be disappointing, and after last year’s more upscale marketing approach, which also fizzled.

In a statement, Wal-Mart’s vice president of advertising, Tony Rogers, said that the ads represent "a shift in the tonality of our messaging going forward. It's important that our work be 'real,' 'authentic' and 'straightforward.'"
KC's View:
Rogers forgot one word: “Successful.” Because if the new ads don’t work, he’s gonna be sending his resume to Julie Roehm.