Walmart's publicity machine is having quite a week.
The world's largest retailer is gearing up for the biggest shopping day of the year on Friday, while reports of looming worker strikes continue to hound the company.
What to do? PR blitz! In what surely ranks as one of the easiest interviews of a corporate representative ever, Fox News anchor Stuart Varney handed Walmart spokesperson David Tovar some softballs on Monday.
"Would you agree with me that you're in for four tough years, because this administration is no friend to Walmart?" Varney asked. Tovar said he wouldn't comment on that.
When he turned to the strike, Varney didn't ask why Walmart workers were considering a walk out. Instead, after praising Walmart's Hurricane Sandy relief work, Varney asked Tovar if it would be possible to sue the company's workers for damages.
"Now you've filed a complaint against the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. You said 'hey, stop messing around with our business.' Can you sue them? Can you take them for any money if your complaint is valid?"
Tovar didn't directly answer the question, instead telling Varney that the complaint is in the hands of the labor board. He did say: "We think what [the workers are] doing is illegal. They've been doing these kinds of demonstrations for more than 30 days, but this week, like I said, we're focused like a laser on Black Friday and we think it's gonna be an awesome day at Walmart this year."
Walmart recently filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board in order to stop employees from protesting on Black Friday. The protesters assert that Walmart does not assign enough hours, pays poverty-level salaries, and retaliates unfairly against workers who speak out against the company.
Once the segment was over, Fox News switched over to some advertisements... for Walmart. The ad: "This program is brought to you by Walmart. Black Friday is back and savings start Thursday. The first and only place to go this Black Friday."
"The timing was completely coincidental," Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesperson told The Huffington Post. "We did our media buy on that back in August. To say that it was in any way tied to him being on there doing the interview would be completely inaccurate."