Ad Watchdog’s Investigation Prompts Change
MADISON, CONN. June 29, 2015 — Walmart is going all out for American manufacturing, pledging to buy billions of dollars in American products. But an investigation by ad watchdog truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org) into the retail giant’s website has readily uncovered numerous false and deceptive “Made in the USA” claims – issues the company characterizes as “coding errors.”
It’s no secret that patriotism sells. Not only do Americans prefer products made in the USA to those made abroad but a recent survey found that they are willing to pay up to 60 percent more for American-made products.
Among TINA.org’s findings were products labeled “Made in the USA” on Walmart’s site while the packaging indicated “Made in China,” as well as “Made in the USA” product labels that conflicted with Walmart.com’s own specifications that showed foreign components. The USA product labels also do not clearly or prominently disclose important qualifying language as required by federal law.
“False made in USA labeling on Walmart’s website has misled consumers looking to purchase American-made products,” said TINA.org Executive Director Bonnie Patten. “The largest retailer in the world should have made sure its American-made claims were accurate before affixing Made in USA labels on its products. Until Walmart cleans up this mess, consumers should be cautious when shopping on the site.”
TINA.org alerted Walmart to its findings in a letter sent to company officials on June 22. In response, Walmart acknowledged the errors, which it blames on suppliers, and pledged to undertake a quality assurance review. Since that time, Walmart has removed some USA labels but the website is still riddled with errors.
To read more about TINA.org’s investigation of Walmart.com’s made in the USA claims, see: www.truthinadvertising.org/walmart-deceptive-usa-claims
This is the second action TINA.org has taken regarding made in the USA claims. In May, TINA.org alerted the FTC and the New York AG’s office that Revlon’s ongoing “Almay Simply American” campaign featuring Carrie Underwood was making deceptive made in the USA claims.
If you are a member of the media looking to contact us, please email us at: [email protected]