US retail giant Wal-Mart has launched a national advertising campaign in an attempt to improve its image amid accusations of discrimination and low wages.
The world’s largest retailer has taken out full-page advertisements in more than a hundred newspapers, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, underlining its plans to create 100,000 jobs in the US in 2005, reported Reuters. The ads also say that 74% of Wal-Mart’s hourly employees work full-time and that the average wage for its full-time hourly employees is nearly twice the federal minimum wage.
According to Jay Allen, Wal-Mart’s senior vice president of corporate affairs, the campaign is not the result of one specific allegation against the company; instead it stems from the fact that the company has become more of a target for critics due to its growth in recent years.
“It has just become evident to us that it is time for us to be more aggressive in defining ourselves rather than letting others do that,” Allen told Reuters.
Wal-Mart currently faces a hearing to investigate whether it burdens the state of California with an unfair proportion of its employee health care costs, as well as a lawsuit alleging discrimination against female employees.
“For too long, others have had free rein to say things about our company that just aren’t true,” chief executive Lee Scott was quoted by Reuters as saying. “We’ve decided it’s time to draw our own line in the sand.”