4 Years Strong: Walmart Sends Another Cease & Desist

4 Years Strong: Walmart Sends Another Cease & Desist

We'd be lying if we said we weren't expecting this. For the fourth year in a row, Walmart has sent us a preemptive cease-and-desist letter, except this one is a bit different than the ones we've received in years prior.

We've seen this mistake made before, but the first weird thing about this letter is that it was addressed to a different website (although sent to our @bfads.net email address). Considering that we've done this dance many times before, one would assume Walmart's lawyers would reuse last year's letter and change the date.

Which brings me to the second weird thing: there is no date. In the 2010 letter, we couldn't release the ad before November 21; in 2009, Nov 23. This year's version only alludes to the ad's "authorized release date," whenever that is. If Walmart keeps with their previous years strategy of releasing their Black Friday 2011 ad the Sunday before, that would make this year's release date November 20.

Walmart omitting an authorized release date this year is probably because they've come to the realization that these dates won't mean anything once the ad leaks. In 2010, Walmart allowed us to post the ad 6 days early; in 2009, 5 days early. Because of the increase in mainstream media coverage of Black Friday, once a major publication gets hold of the leaked Walmart ad, all bets are off. It makes no sense to prevent Black Friday tip sites from featuring a Black Friday ad when it's a top story on CNN.

And the last weird thing? What exactly is the Sunday after Thanksgiving? Is Walmart doing a special Sunday sale instead of continuing their Black Friday sale through the weekend? If so, is this a Walmart-only plan or will other retailers be following in suit? Most importantly, what will we call this sale? We already have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, Sunday should have a catchy name too. We'll follow up with Walmart to see if they're taking suggestions.

We'll keep you updated on whether or not Walmart sets an official release date along with any information we can find out about this Sunday after Thanksgiving sale, so be sure to stay tuned!

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