Walmart’s new ad campaign says that the store saves the average American family $2,500 a year. What is doesn’t say is that you don’t actually have to shop at Walmart to take advantage of the savings.
The study that Walmart is citing in their ad showed that competition from Walmart lowered prices and saved the average family some serious money, regardless of where they actually shopped. Also, Walmart isn’t mentioning that after wage depression, the net increase in purchasing power averages only $1,122 annually.
Still, the way the ad is presented may lead consumers and even major media outlets to believe that in order to save money you need to shop at Walmart.
From Ad Age:
“The report does talk about the impact of Wal-Mart on the communities where the retailer is located,” a Wal-Mart spokeswoman said.
She said the ads and Wal-Mart press releases do not specify that people need to shop at Wal-Mart to get all of the savings. That’s a distinction that has been lost, however, in much of the news coverage of the campaign. Media outlets including ABC’s “Good Morning America,” The Washington Post, Advertising Age and The Honolulu Advertiser all have reported in recent months that the report said shopping at Wal-Mart saves the average family $2,500.
In an e-mail, a Wal-Mart spokesman said it is “ridiculous” to believe it’s “some kind of surprise” that people don’t need to shop at Wal-Mart to realize the $2,500 in savings. “In 2005 we held an economic-impact conference in Washington to air these very issues,” the spokesman said. “Just the very presence of Wal-Mart saves Americans an average of $2,500 a year whether they’re Wal-Mart shoppers or not. We’re very proud of that. But of course, the more you shop with us, the more you save.”
What Wal-Mart Savings Claim Doesn’t Tell You [Advertising Age]