New anti-Wal-Mart ads target 'Southerners,' 'Republicans'

WakeUpWalMart.com launches $1M ad campaign pitching the message that Wal-Mart fosters anti-American values by doing business with China.


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- On the eve of Wal-Mart's annual shareholders meeting, union-backed watchdog group WakeUpWalMart.com announced Thursday a new million-dollar campaign targeting what it claims are the retailer's core customers of "Southerners and conservative Republicans."

The group said the three-month "Summer Southern Blitz" campaign will consist of a series of television ads and grassroots actions intended to highlight the message that Wal-Mart's (Charts, Fortune 500) "values are not [truly] Southern or Republican."

What's more, WakeUpWalMart's latest initiative against the world's largest retailer aims to make the case that Wal-Mart values its business with China more than American jobs and national security, Paul Blank, campaign director for WakeUpWalMart.com, said in a statement.

The first ad, entitled "It's Just Not American," uses an image of Sam Walton and an American flag waving in the background and announces that once "Sam Walton's Wal-Mart was an American company."

"The ad goes on to state that "as [the U.S.] trade deficit grows and middle class American jobs are shipped overseas, Wal-Mart and China get stronger ... America gets weaker." The ad ends with the message,"Wal-Mart, it's just not American anymore."

In March, the same group, which is funded by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, launched a TV ad that featured images of a nuclear explosion and Osama bin Laden to suggest that the retailer is putting America's security at risk by opposing scanning of cargo containers at the nation's ports.

Wal-Mart responded by calling the ad's claims "factually incorrect."

To be sure, Wal-Mart remains a lightning rod for groups like WakeUpWalMart.com and Wal-Mart Watch that have attacked the company over its pay, hiring and health care policies.

For its part, Wal-Mart has initiated some reforms over the past year. The company has cut by half the waiting time for its part-time workers to get health insurance and has taken steps to become more environmentally friendly. Top of page

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.