Edelman lives and learns from Wal-Mart "flog"
Having worked in consultancy for over a deacade I know the pressures and constraints around their communications on this subject. I really do feel for them.
I'll also say this: thanks for taking that one for the team.
Edelman's a big firm and it is genuinely pioneering in getting big brands to take social media seriously. They are going to make mistakes - and they have made a big one here, no doubt - but that's the price to being first.
But how can this happen? How could they say one thing and yet another happens? Where are their morals?
Get a grip.
However this happened (rogue employee, ill-briefed team, genuine Machieavellian spinning) you can be sure they are thinking hard about how not to let it happen again. Questions will be asked like "how do we brief our people better so they understand this stuff?", "how do we educate our people and our clients better about the reputation risks around lack of transparency?".
Bottom line is - they will learn from this and so should the rest of us. Me, I'm grateful for further incontrovertible proof to clients that you need to really understand the culture of social media before you decide on campaign tactics that may sound great in the brainstorm but really suck when you read about them dissected by fifty bloggers on TechMeme.
: : Ian Delaney carries my favourite analysis - and even manages, somehow, to join in the round of apologies online, once again proving his blogging genius.