The world’s biggest retailer may have a lot of explaining to do.
Last year, Ad watchdog TINA.org (truthinadvertising.org) reported Walmart to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after it discovered the company had many misrepresentations on its website, claiming that products were “Made in the USA” when the packaging clearly stated that they were “Made in China.”
After receiving a notification warning letter from TINA.org, Walmart blamed suppliers for the misrepresentations, also known as “coding errors” and for providing outdated information on the website. The company assured the FTC it had removed all deceptive Made in USA claims from its website and that it enforced new preventative measures, but this wasn’t quite the case, it seems.
The investigation revealed that many Walmart.com products, from baseball caps to markers, noted that they were Made in USA, though they were manufactured abroad in China or Korea. Some of the company’s products were also made in the U.S. with imported parts, which according to the FTC standard, are not qualified for “Made in the USA” labeling without the qualifier.
“Walmart was put on notice over a year ago that it was deceiving consumers with misleading Made in the USA marketing. That this problem still exists is simply unacceptable. Clearly FTC intervention is necessary at this time,” TINA.org executive director Bonnie Patten.
The ad watchdog has notified Walmart and the FTC about its latest findings.
In a letter to the FTC sent Monday, TINA.org wrote, “Clearly, FTC intervention is needed at this time for if the largest retailer in the world is permitted to flout the law in such a persistent and egregious manner, it sends a clear message to all that Walmart is held to a different standard.”