Perhaps Walmart’s products aren’t as patriotic as they claim
According to a report recently released by the advertising watchdog group, Truth in Advertising, over 100 products labeled on Walmart’s website as “Made in the USA” are, in fact, imported from other countries.
The report found that both Walmart’s store brand products, such as Equate makeup sponges and tooth whitening strips, as well as other brands, such as Almay eyeliner, were falsely labeled as made in the United States.
Some products clearly displayed contrary information, such as a red, white, and blue “made in the USA” logo on the front, with the words “Made in China” displayed on the back. Other products were stamped with the patriotic logo while the product specifications listed the item as imported.
Walmart had an excuse, but the labels are magically gone
While there is no official certification process for labeling a product “made in the USA,” a company can still be sued for false advertising if they misuse the label. However, rather than taking legal action, Truth in Advertising simply sent a letter to Walmart CEO, Doug McMillon, causing the retail chain some embarrassment, but sparing them the court room drama.
Walmart responded by saying that some manufacturing of its store brands had recently moved to the United States, but the website hadn’t been update yet. However, many Made in USA labels were removed from the website after Truth in Advertising’s letter went public. As for other brands, Walmart claims that the country of origin information comes from the supplier.
Great reminder to stay honest
Unimpressed by these excuses, executive direction of Truth in Advertising, Bonnie Patten, says that the “largest retailer in the world should have made sure its American-made claims were accurate before affixing made in USA labels on the products. Until Walmart cleans up this mess, consumers cannot rely on Walmart with regard to where a product is really made when shopping on the site.”
The report also argues that the website’s labels for “Made in USA” and “Assembled in USA,” with their tiny fonts and identical color schemes, are too similar to distinguish on the website, even though the Federal Trade Commission makes a clear differentiation between these two labels.
All of this is an important reminder for businesses to stay honest in advertising. All it takes is a watchdog with an internet connection and keen eye to uncover false claims.
Supreme Court okays ‘generic’ names in URLs
(BUSINESS NEWS) Generic name trademarks have helped to stave off monopolies of broad products and services, but the Supreme Court just ruled that generic names for websites are now okay.
For years, The United States Patent and Trademark Office has denied rights to names termed as “generic.” This was previously used to prevent generic terms from monopolizing a section of the market. It has prevented many companies from doing that as well.
However, as we move into the 21st century we begin to see things that may not be so cut and dry. As usual life gets messy and things are far more grey than they previously have been.
Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled that website names are eligible for a change to the previous trademark rules. The website that pushed for this privilege first, Booking.com that is owned by Booking Holdings Inc., argued that they needed this ruling to stop consumers from following copycats down a rabbit hole and away from their business.
The decision, heavily weighted at 8-1, gives Booking.com, nationwide legal protection against competing companies trademarks.
A remark released later by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Supreme Court states, “We have no cause to deny Booking.com the same benefits Congress accorded other marks qualifying as nongeneric.” An argument quoted from the decision continues as since, “‘Booking.com’ is not a generic name to consumers, it is not generic.”
This stance, taken by the majority, exemplifies a firm position on the rights of the individual companies’ abilities to identify themselves as they see fit.
The lone dissenting vote coming from Justice Stephen Breyer who argued that he fears that this decision “will lead to a proliferation of ‘generic.com’ marks, granting their owners a monopoly over a zone of useful, easy-to-remember domains.”
Honestly, if you can’t come up with your own domain that either incorporates, but doesn’t copy, or gets your point across without being too generic, you may need to hire a PR person.
This move forward from the Supreme Court opens up a lot of possibilities for people to be creative with their businesses. If generic and simple names will be the norm, then people will have to think outside the box in the future. Bring on the challenges.
New company beats Amazon with next morning delivery?
(BUSINESS NEWS) Amazon has a new competitor in South Korea: Coupang, with faster shipping than Prime.
What if I told you Amazon Prime’s, 1-3 day guaranteed delivery time isn’t the fastest e-commerce service the world has to offer? You would think I’m lying right?
Coupang, one of the world’s fastest delivery services located in South Korea, allows you to order any item, anytime before midnight, promising that it will be at your doorstep by 7am! (I wasn’t lying!) With 70% of its employees living within a 10 minute radius of a Coupang center, 80% of residents residing in populated cities and 95% of it’s population owning a smartphone, South Korea has become the perfect e-commerce epicenter. Coupang employees over 10,000 people who together deliver 99.3% of all orders within 24 hours. Imagine it’s Tuesday night, you’re falling asleep and suddenly remember you forgot to get your wife a present for her 50th birthday tomorrow. You have two options: accept your fate of being put in the dog house for three long weeks, or quickly order a few great items off Coupang’s website that’ll be delivered BEFORE she even wakes up!
Like Amazon, Coupang allows its customers to create a profile, store desired products in a list, and check out using your saved payment method. Half of South Korea’s total population of 51.6 million has installed Coupang’s app with a surge of people trying Coupang for the first time during stay at home orders due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The company struggled to meet fulfillment demands, especially those including PPE, household cleaning products, and children’s necessities. While many companies are struggling to stay afloat, Coupang is quickly adapting to meet consumer demands. In March, the company opened a new logistics center to expand its overnight/same day delivery services and is currently working to reach an even broader population.
Believe it or not, right before Coupang received a $2 Billion investment from SoftBanks, its founder, Kim Bom debated walking away from it all. Bom founded the company in 2010, receiving the investment in 2018 and is expected to pursue an IPO by the end of 2020. So for all of you entrepreneurs wondering if you should give up on that decade long dream…DON’T. Coupang went from selling a few hundred items each day to 3.3 million. Now that’s what you call entrepreneurism!
Google plans to pay publishers for content (a little too late)?
(BUSINESS NEWS) Google will finally pay publishers for news, but only a few, and they have to meet Google standards.
I mean…could you get any greedier Google? (Chandler Bings voice).
After years and years of pressure and complaints from publishers that Google’s search feed doesn’t properly recognize them or the news they work so hard to report, Google has finally announced that they will begin to pay publishers for content. But only some.
WHAT A LOAD OF BS.
According to the News Media Alliance, Google profited 4.7 BILLION in 2019 as a search engine for the news industry. So now, not only is Google fleecing its content providers and the writers who are working to create material for them, but it’s quite likely that Google’s algorithm is pushing paid news to the top of its search feed. What does this mean for users? It means that for one, you will see what they want you to see, but most importantly, it means that Google HAS the money to pay its publishers but chooses not too!
Google’s announcement to start paying publishers excludes all publishers outside Brazil, Germany, and Australia. Even within the countries that Google closed a deal with, there are many that do not meet its “high quality content” requirement for a paid position. The problem with all this nonsense is that we stopped letting the news come from others like us, and instead, according to the U.S News Media Alliance, the news is entirely owned by a handful of companies. You may have 635 channels on your TV, but if you google…or maybe you should duck duck go it, you’ll find that all those channels lead back to one huge organization.
SO WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?
Google has definitely been pressured to make some big changes, and while paying publishers is a good first step in the right direction, is it enough to make up for years of damage?
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