Published on: September 17, 2003We got a number of emails yesterday regarding the proposed pictorial by Playboy about "The Women of Wal-Mart," which follows up on such revealing studies as "The Women of Starbucks" and "The Women of Enron."
One MNB user wrote:
I've been to Wal-Mart. I've seen the associates. The issue with them possibly posing nude may not be a big seller. Also, about your comment about MNB having a sense of humor about these things, I think I can speak for everyone when I say we don't want to see you in there either!!
Hey, nobody has made us an offer. But if it mans promoting MNB, we're willing to do almost anything. Almost.
This MNB concern seemed to be a theme. MNB user Glenn Cantor wrote:
Hopefully, we won't be seeing "The Women of MNB" in Playboy.
Also, based on my parochial experience in my local Wal-Mart's, I shudder at the thought of most of these women naked- "Hello, welcome to Wal-Mart…honey." It doesn't work.
One Wal-Mart employee wrote:
I seriously doubt, based on 10 years service, that in the whole Wal-Mart world there are enough "bodies" to enable Playboy to have a story that is representative of their normal publishing endeavor.
It's a big company. One thing we're sure of is that Playboy will find enough attractive Wal-Mart employees to justify a feature…
MNB user Matt Weeks had some thoughts on the subject of Wal-Mart banning magazines from its shelves, which apparently is what got Playboy started on this…
In the early 1980’s our then-Attorney General Edwin Meese put together something called the Meese Report, about sexuality and how a range of publications in the “violent pornography” (apparently Playboy then qualified) sector could be traced to violent behavior against women. Not to trivialize what’s going on here, there are a lot of thoughtful and reasonable women, and presumably men, that hold this feeling. They believe that there is a cause and-effect relationship between the two. Again--- this is gasoline on the floor for you. Your gentle readers probably come from a wide swath of conservative backgrounds. As for myself--- I obtained a copy of the Meese Report and have it in a safe place right next to my copy of “The Women of 7 11” which was the first such exploit by Playboy on the heels of a corporation banning their publication, and occurred the same year as the report. In the “what goes around comes around” department, I find it a bit telling that Edwin Meese himself eventually resigned around a rather messy and forgettable portion of the Reagan Administration. So much for the integrity and purity of the source. I must be careful, he is now a “distinguished fellow” right here at the Hoover Institute, and I have good friends associated with that noble organization. Talk about gasoline on the floor…
As for the essence of the coverage on Wal-Mart, I find it interesting that both Wal-Mart and Playboy are, as Simon & Garfunkel sang (and will again sing this Fall) “just trying to keep the customer satisfied.” Only time will tell, and if too many customers refrain from coming into Wal-Mart, and if their data shows that baskets brimming full of groceries, Playboy and other goods are now empty, and those customers less frequently shopping, well then I believe Wal-Mart will re-think their decision (Or not. Has Southland put Playboy back on the shelves? Why?). As I’ve pointed out before, however, the majority of grocery and other retailers, including even the “great and powerful” Wal-Mart do not yet appear to be acting upon the wealth of customer shopping data that they collect right at their registers, if not from the non-existing frequency and loyalty programs. So I chalk this up to reaction (as opposed to “leadership”) based on news, spin and lack of imagination. Ahh but I digress…
The best line - meaning the one we wish we'd written - came from MNB user Ron Rash:
Thank God it's not the "Greeters of Wal-Mart"…
We also got a number of emails about our criticism of Dr. Phil McGraw's NBC special on fat (and the book that is climbing the bestseller lists).
I saw parts of the special and couldn't help thinking that he might have more credibility if he looked in shape.
The extraordinary thing about perception is that McGraw is in shape - he lifts weights, plays tennis, and watches his diet. He's just a big guy. Does this make him unhealthy? No.
Another MNB user wrote:
I enjoyed your comments about Dr. Phil. I too find him wearying...mainly because so much of what he says is just plain common sense.
Seems like a lot of families now days don't emphasize common sense in raising their kids. I give him credit for using the media to help people realize they can make a difference in their own lives and actually visualize what their lives can be if they take responsibility for their health. Oprah has been on this same kick for years. Your comment about retailers picking up on this is a good one. How better to build customers for life than to become involved in their lives.
And another MNB user wrote:
The best weight loss program around is Weight Watchers (I don't work for them). I am living proof. I had high BP (it has come down 30 points) and was told to lose weight or have to go on medication. In October, I started the program and in July, I met my goal. The only thing you must do when you reach your goal is weigh in once a month and cannot go over 2#. I haven't gained. In fact, I lost a bit more but still within the range for my height and build. I am not obsessive about eating. I continue to eat healthy and realize it has to be a lifestyle change. You can still have your wine Kevin but in moderation. That is what weight loss is all about. Lifestyle change and eating in moderation. I don't crave candy (M&Ms and Snickers) or cookies (chocolate chip) and don't really miss not eating them. I know that I can have them but choose something else. During all that time I kept a written diary.
When you write down what you eat and your thoughts about the day, you are more aware of what you are putting in your mouth. I don't keep a written diary now but it is in my head as to what I ate and where I stand for the day on the points. If I gain weight, I will go back to keeping a written diary.
We would only differ on one point here. Weight Watchers was good for this person…but different programs work for different people. It is the "one size fits all" approach to weight loss that makes us really nuts.
Continued dialogue about the shipment of cheaper Canadian medications to the US from Canadian MNB user Gerri Polis:
I'm chuckling out loud at the quote, "the drugs are not always the same as those sold in the US, do not have the same safety measures and approval processes applied to them, and are potentially dangerous." Well, duh! If the safety measures and approval processes were the same that would mean the FDA had jurisdiction in Canada. There's just this minor glitch in that happening - it's called sovereignty. Many people would like to think that Canada is just a puppet nation that needs to be coddled by the US, but believe it or not we have capable scientists in this country who make up their own minds.
Is there no limit to the amount of fear mongering that lobbyists go to? What they don't tell you is that in some cases Health Canada's safety measures and approval processes are even more stringent than those of the FDA. Canada has fewer lobbyists pressuring for the approval of drugs and therefore takes the time to fully assess the claims of the pharmaceutical manufacturer trying to get the approvals. The potential danger that the Canadian pharmaceuticals pose is the threat to the bottom line for their American counterparts who will actually have to compete.
- KC's View: