The Consequences of Marketing Hype and Flash

Wal-Mart fired Julie Roehm, a fast rising advertising exec recently recruited from Chrysler last week. Roehm has become a poster child for all that is perceived to be wrong in the advertising world:

  • Lewis Lazare:
    But what did Roehm accomplish in a brief 10 months on the job as Wal-Mart's senior vice president of marketing communication? Nothing less than destroying just about everything she touched in what had been a fairly well-defined and successful corporate culture, including relationships with two ad agencies -- Bernstein-Rein and GSD&M -- that worked for decades to help build Wal-Mart into the dominant brand it is today.

    In the wake of Tuesday's stunning revelation that Roehm was out the door at Wal-Mart, plenty of people, including us, wondered what qualified this woman to hold one of the most powerful marketing positions in America. And no one we've talked to who worked with her at Wal-Mart or knew of her previous career could tell us with any conviction that she had the credentials to wreak havoc on Wal-Mart's marketing department.

  • Peter DeLorenzo:
    I'm talking about people who were so far out of their leagues and so far removed from what a proper marketing/advertising person should act like, that more often than not their behavior, combined with their utter lack of professional relevance, bordered on the criminal. And they proceeded to do deep damage to their brands - and to the heretofore unsullied reputations of the people who actually did conduct themselves with the utmost in professionalism and creativity.

    The most blatant example of this kind of marketing malpractice (before the Roehm episode at least) was the devastatingly dismal period in GM history not long ago when that esteemed Proctor & Gamble refugee John Smale unleashed a phalanx of so-called marketing "experts" on the corporation who were going to finally "fix" GM with the etched-in-stone tenets of marketing success as espoused by P&G's vaunted "brand management" philosophy. Smale appointed Ron Zarrella as his brand management guru and chief proponent of Smale's "Profit through Marketing" doctrine - which was based on the fundamentally flawed premise that GM could market their way to prosperity - while relegating the importance of the product itself to a subservient, if not outright inconsequential, role.

  • Michael Barbaro & Stuart Elliott:

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jim Zellmer published on December 13, 2006 8:53 AM.

Time to Move On? was the previous entry in this blog.

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