image It’s not uncommon at all to hear that companies are cutting back on advertising, in this current economic climate at least.  I’ve had three conversations today with different business partners and clients that centered primarily around the difficulty in getting major corporations to loosen their purse-strings for sponsorship and advertising.

There is new news in this regard, and I’m seeing some very creative sales strategies emerge that are working, but once in a while amidst all the closure, layoff and cut-back announcements, you see one that makes you scratch your head.

My buddy Sean P. Aune sent over a terse notice he got from Walmart a few minutes ago announcing the closure of their blog partnership program:

Dear Affiliate,

Walmart.com has made a business decision to discontinue partnering with blog sites at this time. Commissions will be paid on all sales referred prior to the discontinuation date of February 5, 2009. We at Walmart.com would like to thank you for your partnership and wish you success in all business endeavors.
Regards,

The Walmart.com Affiliate Team

What makes this particularly odd is the fact that this isn’t a system that’s presumably costing Walmart any money to speak of.  An affiliate system generally can run itself with very little oversight, and there are no paid minimums to content with for the advertiser.

In fact, Walmart only pays out whenever a sale is made, and then only once a certain dollar amount threshold is reached.

In this sort of economy, this is the last type of advertising cutback I’d expect to see.