CSR Goes Prime Time


‘”We don’t usually do sponsorships of any show, no matter what the format is,” said Betsy Reithemeyer, executive director of the foundation and vice president for corporate affairs at Wal-Mart in Bentonville, Ark. But “The Scholar” was “different from anything brought to us before,” she added, because it is “a unique way to get out the message on national television that we’re supporting education.”‘

While the rest of the commercial world is scheming ways to pay to have its products or services “seamlessly” appear in cultural (and I use that term lightly) offerings, Wal-Mart, faced with an unprecedented spate of bad press (resulting from an unprecedented spate of bad business practices) is using this exploding marketing tactic to burnish its corporate image. (See posting from June 1.)

Showcasing corporate social responsibility (CSR) through a branded presence on prime time reality TV…now that’s new.