Friday, January 06, 2006

This is just wrong

In an age where ecommerce sites are searching for ways to make shopping a breeze for consumers to their sites, retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores on Thursday encountered a major blunder. shoppers contemplating a "Planet of the Apes" DVD purchase were also automatically offered up recommendations to other movies of similar interest via its cross-selling system technology.

The problem, however, was the combinations were offensive.
The "Planet of the Apes" DVD generated referrals to movies about famous African Americans, such as Martin Luther King Jr., according to a report by Associated Press.

Wal-Mart has since shut down its entire movie cross-selling system, until the problem is resolved and noted it is "heartsick" over the "offensive combinations," according to a statement posted on its site.

Wal-Mart's technical difficulties also included such random referrals as suggesting DVD buyers of Home Alone and Power Puff Girls movies to African American-themed DVDs.

A copy of the DVD site and the offensive referrals were noted by blog site San Diego Johnny, which spotted the error on's site.
Dots don't connect for CNET

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