Jan 4 Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc
has gone on the defensive against charges by competitors that a
recent ad campaign is using inaccurate information, leading the
competitors to file complaints with state legal officials.
A Wal-Mart Stores spokesman defended the retailer's ad
campaign that claims to offer better prices on some products
than competitors, after the Wall Street Journal reported rivals
have complained to attorneys general in more than half a dozen
In documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, rivals
have claimed that Wal-Mart's advertisements cross a line by
making misleading comparisons or promoting products the company
does not have in ample supply.
Wal-Mart ads have targeted retailers including Toys "R" Us
Inc and Best Buy Co Inc, as well as several
regional supermarket chains. Best Buy complained about a
Wal-Mart ad to the Florida attorney general's office, while Toys
"R" Us complained to Michigan officials, the Journal said.
"We know competitors don't like it when we tell customers to
compare prices and see for themselves," Wal-Mart spokesperson
Steven Restivo told the Wall Street Journal. "We are confident
on the legal, ethical and methodological standards associated
with our price comparison advertisements," he added.
Restivo confirmed to Reuters the accuracy of his comments
published by the Journal.
Wal-Mart, which launched the radio and television ads last
spring, said the initial ads spurred a 1.2 percent boost in
sales at stores open at least a year and a 1.1 percent rise in
store visits in areas where those ads were aired, compared with
similar regions where they did not run.
Wal-Mart told the paper it responded to attorneys general in
Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Missouri over complaints
from regional supermarket chains and Toys "R" Us. ()
The company said it has not received complaints from Best
Buy. The attorneys general offices in Florida and New Jersey
said they were reviewing similar complaints, according to the
Toys "R" Us and Best Buy officials could not immediately be
reached for comment by Reuters after regular U.S. business