PR woman working for Walmart poses as reporter to spy on pro-labor group

"Zoe Mitchell"

The woman on the right said she was USC student Zoe Mitchell and was interested in the plight of Walmart warehouse workers. Now we find out that “Ms. Mitchell” is actually Stephanie Harnett, a PR woman who was spying on a pro-labor group.

“Even within the PR industry it is considered horribly unethical and scandalous to pose as a reporter in order to spy for a client,” writes Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan, a former PR Week reporter. “It is not ‘fair play,’ even in the cutthroat world of Wal-Mart PR.”

It turns out that Walmart agrees with Nolan. The company tells him: “These actions were unacceptable, misleading and wrong. Our culture of integrity is a constant at Walmart and by not properly identifying herself, this individual’s behavior was contrary to our values and the way we do business.”

* Wal-Mart PR firm has flack pose as reporter to spy on pro-labor group (Gawker)
* Walmart’s cloak and dagger fiasco (The Frying Pan)
* Here’s what Harnett wrote when she was working for Huffington Post (Huffington Post)