walmart commercial 150806 Walmart has made stupid media and public relations decisions in the past that have blown up in the company's face. After watching the commercial several times, and reflecting on just how many fecking checkouts there are in a Supercenter, I don't think this is an accident. From the law firm of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein + Selz comes Into the Fire: Wal-Mart Opts Out of NAD Review - and Is Referred to the FTC.
The National Advertising Division---a widely respected alternative dispute forum for advertisers---recently referred Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.'s "Raise in Pay" campaign to the Federal Trade Commission after Wal-Mart declined to participate in NAD's process. It's unusual for leading advertisers to opt out of the NAD process. And we can't say how the FTC will handle the inquiry. But Wal-Mart's challenge shines a light on a critical, behind-the-scenes issue: NAD's willingness to initiate cases involving campaigns like Wal-Mart's that tout internal company initiatives rather than advertise products or services.
What might the NAD have found to investigate?
As part of its routine monitoring program, NAD reviewed a broadcast ad from Wal-Mart that highlighted the company's recent initiatives to increase spending on higher pay, education and training for Wal-Mart employees. The commercial featured emotional vignettes of Wal-Mart employees and their families in their everyday lives, and included the following voiceover statements: "It's hard to build a future if you can't see past today ... That's why Wal-Mart is investing in the most important part of our company, our people." "a raise in pay ... raises us all," over a shot of check-out lane 15. NAD interpreted this as a reference to the $15-per-hour minimum wage goal [emphasis mine, JH] of many wage activists.
Somebody thought they were being clever. Somebody got caught. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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