FTC Drops Walmart Made In USA Investigation

The United States Federal Trade Commission has sent Walmart a letter relating that the retailer’s steps to correct errors in its Made in the U.S.A. product labeling sufficed to end a false advertising investigation.

The FTC noted that it had discussed concerns about discrepancies and outdated information regarding country-of-origin identifications on the walmart.com website as well as considerations regarding the clarity and conspicuousness of disclosures on Made in U.S.A. logos used in conjunction with Walmart’s Investing in American Jobs Program.

In the letter, the FTC noted:

“In response to our inquiry, Walmart took several steps to prevent consumer deception. With regard to its website, Walmart: (1) removed ‘Made in USA’ logos from all product listings; (2) removed country-of-origin information from all product specifications, except where required by law; (3) removed U.S.-origin claims that appeared in product descriptions or titles; and (4) implemented a procedure to flag and remove new U.S.-origin claims made in ad copy submitted by suppliers.

“Additionally, Walmart rolled out redesigned ‘Made in USA’ logos for private brand products promoted in conjunction with the Investing in American Jobs Program. The redesigned logos, which appear on product packaging, include larger disclosures regarding the percentage of U.S. content contained in the product, as well as a disclosure intended to convey that the U.S.- origin claim is self-certified by the supplying factory.”

The letter, sent from the office of agency staff attorney Julia Solomon Ensor, declared that, given Walmart’s actions, FTC staff decided not to further pursue the investigation.

As reported by HomeWorld Business early this summer, Walmart began addressing concerns about Made in the U.S.A.-labeled products it carries after a watch dog group accused the retailer of “deceptive advertising” in association with more than 100 items.