Over two years ago, Wal-Mart announced a big push to source over $250 billion dollars worth of goods from manufacturers in the United States over a period of 10 years. This was partly in response to Consumer Reports surveys which showed that 80 percent of Americans prefer to buy products which are made in the USA. The retail giant’s advertising was geared around this push, and stores and items on their online shopping site were plastered with “Made in the USA” signs.
Unfortunately, the big box store once again got caught with its made-in-China pants down, and recently came under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. A letter to Wal-Mart’s associate general counsel was posted on the FTC’s website this week, and the FTC stated it would not pursue action against the chain because it had taken “voluntary steps” to “prevent consumer deception.” That’s FTC-speak for we’re not going to prosecute your asses because you took all the “Made in USA” logos off items that were NOT made in the USA.
Earlier this summer, watchdog group Truth in Advertising said it found more than 100 instances where items on Wal-Mart’s website were incorrectly labeled as being made in the USA. Wal-Mart’s excuse at the time? They blamed it on “coding errors.”
In response to the FTC’s decision, Wal-Mart released the following statement:
We’re committed to reviewing and strengthening our processes to help ensure customers have a great experience on our website and can find the products and information they are looking for.
Translation? We managed to skate by on this one, and we’d love to talk right now, but we’re busy dreaming up another way we can scam the American consumer and not get caught this time.
“Made in the USA” items at Wal-Mart? Let the buyer beware.
Featured image courtesy of thecitywire.com.