Wal-Mart Seeks to Soften Criticism

NEW YORK Wal-Mart has launched a national ad campaign that focuses on its employees as well as the company’s expansion into low-income neighborhoods.

The campaign, via Bernstein-Rein, Kansas City, Mo., has unofficially been dubbed the “Good jobs” effort. It comes on the heels of a decision this week by a federal judge who granted class-action status to a sex-discrimination lawsuit against the world’s No. 1 retailer, which industry experts said might eventually lead to a settlement or judgment that could cost the company billions of dollars.

In some spots, actual Wal-Mart employees talk about how much they enjoy working for the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer. Others focus on Wal-Mart’s decision to locate in low-income neighborhoods.

“It’s an effort to share the facts about our company rather than allowing others to define who we are,” Sarah Clark, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, told Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News.

—Brandweek staff report