March 22, 2005
Washington, DC – The United Food and Commercial Worker’s Union sent a letter to ABC News today demanding that Wal-Mart be immediately removed as a sponsor of their “Only in America” series, citing misleading and deceptive advertising. Wal-Mart appears to be the primary paid sponsor of Good Morning America’s “Only in America” series, which tells stories of common Americans and their love for the country and it’s citizens.
“Wal-Mart’s sponsorship of ‘Only in America’ is hypocritical, as well as a cynical abuse of ABC News,” stated UFCW President Joe Hansen in a letter to ABC News President David Westin. “I call on you, Mr. Westin, to drop Wal-Mart immediately as a sponsor of this segment, and to take down the company’s internet ads which further attempt to connect Wal-Mart with the ‘Only in America’ slogan.”
The advertising campaign seems to be part of an “unusual” public relations offensive by Wal-Mart to counter growing concerns about the corporate ethics of the retail giant. But, this is not the first time Wal-Mart has attempted to use patriotism as a marketing scheme. In the 1990’s, Wal-Mart introduced its “Made in America” and “Bring it Home to the USA” campaigns. Broadcast and other news outlets soon exposed the gross deceptions in this ploy forcing Wal-Mart to drop the marketing campaign. In fact, just recently, a new book entitled China, Inc. found that 70% of the items sold by Wal-Mart are manufactured in third world countries, most notable China.
“The UFCW, and all of working America, is deeply troubled by Wal-Mart’s exploitation of ABC News,” stated Hansen. “Wal-Mart’s use of its ‘Only in America’ sponsorship is simply another cynical attempt to deceive customers about Wal-Mart’s responsibility for sending more jobs overseas than any other American corporation and lowering U.S. wages.”
In addition to its letter to ABC News, the UFCW has launched an on-line petition for people to join the call to stop Wal-Mart’s sponsorship of this series. The petition can be found at www.ufcw.org.