It’s the subject of great debate: How involved should brands be in the political zeitgeist? Undoubtedly, overtly political moves tend to galvanize the masses and can hurt, or alternatively help, a brand. At a time—and in a political climate—when social networks may be attempting to fan some of the flames, Walmart has made a very bold statement with its “Impeach 45” line, and some folks on the internet are not so happy about it.
On its website, Walmart sells a variety of garments, baby clothes included, emblazoned with “Impeach 45.” While it’s not clear how long the items have been available, Trump supporters took to Twitter today demanding a boycott of the mega-brand.
“#MAGA supporters please retweet the hell out this! After all @realDonaldTrump has done for American businesses, @Walmart has the nerve to sell a (sic) Impeach 45 baby shirt? Let them know how you feel about it!” tweeted one irate citizen.
This is certainly not the first time Walmart has riled people up with its products. When its “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required” shirt surfaced on the website in 2017, Walmart faced backlash and ultimately removed the item, claiming it had made its way to the site through a third-party vendor. The company had a similar reaction this time around.
“These items were sold by third-party sellers on our open marketplace and were not offered directly by Walmart,” a spokesperson told Adweek. “We’re removing these types of items pending review of our marketplace policies.” Walmart did not name the vendor and gave no indication whether it intends to change its system. The line appears to be produced by Connecticut-based apparel company Old Glory, and the shirts are available for sale widely online (including on Amazon). They range in price from $16.95 to $41.95.
However, Walmart has offended a not-insignificant portion of its base, and if the boycott is successful, an important question remains: What will happen to gun sales at Walmart?