“Kansas Firm Airs Candid Wal-Mart Videos”

by Walter Olson on April 10, 2008

A new business model for struggling photographers? Or an old one? “Wal-Mart’s internal meetings are on display in three decades worth of videos made by a Kansas production company scrambling to stay in business after Wal-Mart stopped using the firm. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. dropped longtime contractor Flagler Productions in 2006. In response to losing its biggest customer, the small company has opened its archive, for a fee, to researchers who include plaintiffs’ lawyers and union critics seeking clips of unguarded moments at the world’s largest retailer.” (Marcus Kabel, AP/GulfLive, Apr. 9; WSJ, Kansas City Star, ABCNews.com).

{ 5 comments }

1 Todd Rogers 04.10.08 at 11:02 am

Why not just desecrate a crucifix and call God a wussy?

2 Doug 04.10.08 at 11:50 am

Aren’t these videos the property of Wal-Mart – the company who paid Flagler to make them? Was there not some sort of non-disclosure agreement in place before Wal-Mart allowed Flagler employee’s access to the meetings in order to film them?

3 Joe Bingham 04.10.08 at 2:56 pm

Um… yeah, everyone will want to use your firm now. Nice job. This company should be named Einstein productions.

4 Matthew Brown 04.11.08 at 5:33 pm

Joe Bingham: it seems that the company is now effectively out of business as a video production company, and its sole business now appears to be the exploitation of its archives.

Doug: Flagler claims that there was no contract and thus copyright in the footage remained with them. Hard to believe, but it’s certainly possible Wal-Mart screwed up, especially since Flagler was doing this for 30 years.

5 AZFlyer 04.11.08 at 9:40 pm

“We would like to go back to being a production company, but right now we’re getting by as an archive,” Villaneuva said.

Ha! Fat chance of that ever happening. I’m no fan of Wal Mart, but unless this archive business proves to be a big money maker, these folks are going to have to find a new line of work.

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