April 29, 2005

Talking to Small Towns

wmw_ad.gifWal-Mart Watch has taken out blogads in some econoblogs, and are now on their second ad.

Their first advertisement noted that 70% of WM's products are made in China, and as recently as 11 years ago, Wal-Mart still focused on "Made in America" in company literature. 11 years ago! I was 16 at the time, and don't even remember those advertisements that were airing before then, but some people do. That ad ignored the fact that the 70% figure drops considerably if you add in produce, and pretends that Wal-Mart still presents itself as an all-American company. I don't think it does, and WMW has not made a case that is at all convincing to me. And if you were to go into any WM in the DC region, I doubt you would get that feeling at all...

Anyway, the latest ad (at left) starts by informing us that WMW has instilled fear into the heart of Wal-Mart. No evidence -- such as actual internal memos or emails, extensive corporate mobilization, or a renewed PR campaign -- is given on WMW to back up this claim.

The main graphic is a pretend email from the Chairman to the CEO telling the latter to do something because "customers are asking questions" -- apparently more serious questions than where they can find the toaster on deep rollback.

But the main text is criticaly important; it says that WMW is trying to bring attention to the towns Wal-Mart has allegedly "destroyed". I've been waiting for them to do this. Everybody talks about the destruction of towns, but nobody photographs them.

In the comments to their first post, I challenged WMW to name the actual towns Wal-Mart has allegedy destroyed, and post before and after photos. I hope they will try, but honestly, I do not think that they will follow through. Naming them would permit an honest analysis of the actual impact the arrival of Wal-Mart stores has had on small towns, and WMW is not about "educating" on all sides of the issue.

Posted by Kevin on April, 29 2005 at 09:57 AM