Thursday, August 23

Ending Fairytales: Judge Denise Langford Morris

According to the Associated Press, Judge Denise Langford Morris has temporarily ended the reverse Cinderella story that took misguided advertising star and self-proclaimed change agent Julie Roehm to the brink of mayhem marketing celebrity. Right, the pumpkin coach she was riding in could not find the right home at midnight and the court unceremoniously dismissed it because Roehm's case against Wal-Mart should have been filed in Arkansas and not Michigan.

In sum, for all that nine months of vicious spin, counterspin, and missteps, the original case seems to have accomplished nothing more than personal brand damage: forever branding Roehm as the former Wal-Mart marketing executive who allowed her judgment to lapse as she leveraged her position for fun and profit. Worse, along the way, she has played virtually every part to create one of the most inconsistent personal images ever, from a heartbroken head of household to a relentless and scrappy street fighter.

As if all this wasn't enough, according to Advertising Age, a spokesman for Roehm said she and her lawyers hadn't yet decided whether to file in Arkansas. No offense intended, but when your best hope is to slowly reverse an impaired image on Facebook, it's probably long past time to focus on the book deal rather than the glass slipper.

Sure, I know more than one person has extended their sympathies to Roehm, but all along I've been miffed by this misadventure. Why? One of my colleagues summed it up nicely. "We were part of a Wal-Mart pitch once and they told us up front, before anything else, 'Wal-Mart is only interested is delivering the lowest possible price to its customers. If you send us a gift, we will send it back and kindly ask that you deduct the amount from our bill.'" It doesn't get much clearer than that.



Rich on 8/23/07, 2:48 PM said...

More Words:

If there is any question whether or not Ms. Roehm damaged her personal brand, consider the latest addition to AdRants. The mock Rolling Stone cover says it all.

George Parker on 8/23/07, 9:54 PM said...

Good post... The woman is brain dead. As many have wondered, where the hell did she get the money to engage in this lunacy. All those lawers and Hollywood spin meisters do not come cheap. Even if she gets a book deal, you know it will be a crock of shit. Like Carly ex-HP who blamed everyone but herself for screwing up a fine company. Then like Julie, pulled the gender bullshit card.

Rich on 8/24/07, 6:48 AM said...

Hey George,

Well, that is one way to put it. ;) And some very good questions. Whatever she paid, she paid too much. As it's been pointed out more than once, her contract allowed Wal-Mart to let her go for any reason anyway.

I'm equally sure any autobiography will be packed with more fiction that The Never Ending Story, much like her rebuts in the media. A better title might be: The emperor has no clothes and that's just the way I like 'em.


Rich on 11/6/07, 3:15 PM said...

Very, Very Last Words:

"Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) and the ad executive who was too sexy for the retailer have agreed to drop their lawsuits against each other.

Under the terms of the settlement, Roehm will drop her lawsuit against Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart will drop its suit and Roehm, and Peltz will drop his defamation suit against Roehm. Roehm says Wal-Mart did not give her any money.

It looks like this Wal-Mart soap opera is over. Now we can get back to focusing on the company's sagging stock price, lagging same-store sales, image problems, etc." — Blogging Stocks


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