Walmart drops Made in USA labels after deceptive advertising probe
Retailer drops Made in USA label from website after being exposed by Truth in Advertising group
Walmart has removed the Made in USA labels from its website after being investigated by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over deceptive advertising.
Walmart's Made in USA claims were called into question after Truth in Advertising discovered hundreds of products on the website were actually made elsewhere.
The watchdog group filed notice with the FTC after comparing the Made in USA labels against the packaging of the actual products of hundreds of products. Plastic cutlery labelled Made in USA on the website was found to be labelled Made in China on the packaging, while a lotion that the website said was made in the U.S. was found to be made in Mexico.
The FTC closed its probe without laying charges after Walmart agreed to remove all the Made in USA labels from its website.
Two years ago, Walmart made a high-profile pledge to buy an additional $250 billion in Made in USA products, reasoning that patriotism sells.
As part of its deal with the FTC, the retailer must redesign the Made in USA labels on the packaging of many of its products to specify how much of the product was made overseas.
In many cases the so-called domestically made products were only packaged in the U.S. or were made from imported parts.
"We are pleased with the FTC's decision and appreciate its thorough review of our program," Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg said in a statement. "We're committed to reviewing and strengthening our processes to help ensure customers have a great experience on our website and can find the products and information they are looking for."