Wal-Mart ads that imply that the retailer saves the average family that shops in its stores $2,500 a year are misleading, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus
will announce today. It is a message "for which the advertiser provided no support and, in fact, conceded that there was none," it says.
The claim of saving $2,500 dates to 2005, when
Wal-Mart--under mounting criticism from unions and elected leaders over its business practices--commissioned a study of its economic impact on Americans. It turns out you save $2,500 even if you never
set foot inside a Wal-Mart. The figure represents the company's calculation of its overall impact on an American household.
A watchdog group that filed the complaint with the NAD has no
quibble with what it called the "express claim" of Wal-Mart's ad--that it saves American families $2,500 a year. Wal-Mart says in a statement that it "would be proud" to take the recommendation into
account in its advertising, "ensuring that the positive impact we have for all American families is even more explicit."
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