Walmart.com’s ‘Made in the USA’ claims lead to fireworks
June 30, 2015 03:08 PM
Just in time for the Fourth of July and all things USA, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is getting hammered by an advertising watchdog, truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org), for how it labels items “Made in the USA.”
TINA.org said it sent Wal-Mart a letter June 22 outlining its findings. The organization said some products on Wal-Mart’s site were labeled “Made in the USA” but the packaging indicated “Made in China.” Others carried “Made in the USA” product labels that conflicted with Walmart.com’s specifications showing foreign components. And some USA product labels don’t clearly or prominently disclose qualifying language required by federal law.
In response, Wal-Mart, No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, acknowledged the errors, which it blames on suppliers, and pledged to undertake a quality assurance review, TINA.org said. Since receiving the letter, Wal-Mart removed some USA labels, but the website is “still riddled with errors,” the group said.
“We are continually working to improve our website listings and information. We are undertaking a more extensive quality assurance review to help eliminate these types of coding errors,” a Wal-Mart spokesman says. “Based on our initial internal review, we believe these errors are limited to a small number of items and we are confident in the overall integrity of the information on our website.”
The Wal-Mart spokesman says the retailer is committed—to the tune of $250 billion over 10 years—to buying products that support American jobs. “Just over two years in, we are on target to meet our goal and are seeing some great results. For example, through our commitment, Ferrara Candy has re-shored some of its production from Mexico to Chicago, creating more than 100 jobs in the community and Korona Candles re-shored tea light production from Poland, creating more than 150 jobs in the Dublin, Va., area,” he says.
Wal-Mart is not the only retailer under scrutiny from TINA.org. In May the group says it alerted the Federal Trade Commission and the New York attorney general’s office that Revlon Inc.’s “Almay Simply American” campaign featuring Carrie Underwood was making deceptive “Made in the USA” claims.