It seemed worthwhile posting the story verbatim to demonstrate just why it is so important to set up bulletproof checks, balances and process on managing and moderating staff access to any customer facing digital signage network.
Two men have been arrested for playing porn over a half-dozen TV screens in a Fort Smith, AR, Walmart store. The two apparently popped a DVD into a player that controlled several screens, and let it rip. According to police, “the pornographic DVD was visible to the general public as they were shopping” for several minutes.
Eventually, one shopper apparently realized the video wasn’t a promo for a new line of linens or gardening implements and contacted management. Meanwhile, the store surveillance video, which was released to a local TV station, is apparently a big hit, and several customers who found the DVD footage inspirational have already been offered jobs in the adult-entertainment industry (no, not really, though we suspect that some of them may never be the same again).
If the original report is accurate, the culprits are the staff who knew a way around the system and sabotaged it.
Most observers will know that in a typical digital signage 2.0 deployment, local control can be gifted to staff in some way or another to enable them to promote store specific product, service or news items, with this ‘instant broadcast’ capability being one of several reasons why digital media is an attractive medium for marketers and retailers.
However almost all of us must surely agree that if access to a network is granted at local level then it needs to be to people in positions of responsilbility, who operate within a ‘closed system’ that in itself allows only limited access and control and that escalation and approval processes to regional and head offices are clear on exceptional items.
Clearly not ensuring such processes and barriers exists means it’s all too easy for a disgruntled staff member to undermine which is completely counter productive to the manner in which most modern digital signage networks the world over are designed, managed and controlled (we hope).
There’s been no statement from Walmart’s Press Department on this matter, yet.
As Duane Dibbly so eloquently put it on the comments section below the original article, “This is Wal-Mart you’re talking about. 10% of shoppers were offended, the other 90% stopped to watch.”
Could this have been part of clandestine ‘measured media’ test to evaluate shoppers propensity to purchase and did anyone measure its effectiveness on soft porn DVD sales I wonder?