Making Change at Walmart, one of two campaigns funded by the United Food and Commercial Workers union targeting the world's largest retailer, will air its first TV ad on Sunday, as the campaigns increase their focus on media.
As BuzzFeed News reported on Tuesday, the UFCW is rethinking its efforts targeting Walmart after firing two top organizers working on the Our Walmart campaign, a sister effort to Making Change at Walmart.
The union has hired Jessica Levin, formerly of progressive media watchdog Media Matters for America, to lead communications efforts for the campaigns. Our Walmart told BuzzFeed News that the campaign "needed to move in a more aggressive direction," including more media work.
"Hot Dogs," the first TV spot by Making Change at Walmart, will air in 11 cities leading up to July 4th and describes Walmart's use of alleged tax havens in Luxembourg, the Cayman Islands, and Barbados.
Among the cities where the ad will air is Clovis, New Mexico, where a rally is planned at the local Walmart on Friday. Last year protesters targeted the Clovis store during a national day of rallies at Walmart locations on Black Friday.
"We will be running a more aggressive on the ground campaign to reinforce the new media and earned media phase of this campaign," said Levin in a statement. "If Walmart or anyone else questions that determination, they should just wait and see what's coming."
"Hot Dogs" draws on a recent report that said $76 billion of Walmart's assets are sheltered in undisclosed subsidiaries in 15 overseas locations. The paper was released by Americans for Tax Fairness and researched by the UFCW.
"This is the same union-supported group that regularly issues similar, flawed reports on Walmart to promote their agenda rather than the facts," Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove in a statement. "The methodology [of the report] is flawed and based upon statutory reports prior to inter-company eliminations which occur during consolidation."
Updated with comment from Walmart.