Walmart

The Low-Price Misleader
Cause-Related Marketing Uses Missing Children to Counter Lost Sales

When one hears talk about the Missing Children's Network, visions of airwaves come to mind. Partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Walmart exploits the exploited even more by using children to bolster its sales.

How so? Well, walk into any Walmart or Sam's club and see their missing children bulletin board boast about what appears to be the number of children the boards have recovered. But have they? As of June 2011, they state that "9,351 children featured on Walmart's Missing Children Network have been recovered since January 1, 1996." That's a pretty tall fact. And maybe it is a fact, but is it what it appears to be? It sounds like Walmart's efforts brought more than 9300 children back home. But wait a minute. If you venture to their corporate website, it says that "As of January 2010 (with a tally then of 8,716 of those children recovered) 205 of those recovered children were found as a direct result of our bulletin boards." That is quite a discrepancy; more than a 42.5 times difference, in fact.

So, why would Walmart purposely try and deceive the public into thinking it had recovered more chidren than it actually had? Well, how many other corporations have groups, websites and even songs hoping for their eventual demise? Whenever Walmart makes plans to put up a new building, crowds gather to try and stop them like it were a prison filled with pedophiles wating to be released. Small business-owners tremble. But those desperate, jobless, underskilled and on the brink of starvation, flock to their doors in hopes of the meager wages they provide.

Why pretend to save the helpless? It costs each Walmart virtually nothing to put up the flier emailed to them by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. And yet this is their "network"; their reason that people should choose them over Target or K-Mart, over Costco and Joe Dokes' five and dime. Walk into any Walmart and you are greeting with cameras watching your every move. If you have a child, don't bother taking photos in case the unimaginable happens. Just go into any Wal-Mart you've ever visited and ask for the family footage of your family being stalked.

NCMEC is the only missing children organization Walmart funds. It gives them a better profile, and what better than having a good profile, when everyone else on earth tries to stare you in the face?