Wal-Mart is receiving major backlash for publishing an ad on its website that included a racial slur. Monday’s ad featured a wig cap for sale in which the color was described as "n----r brown." Wal-Mart has since removed the ad and told the Huffington Post that it has determined the product was sold by a third-party seller posing as a company out of the United Kingdom, Jagazi Natural.
The mega retailer apologized for the ad in a statement on Twitter: “We are very sorry and appalled that this third-party seller listed their item with the description on our online marketplace. It's a clear violation of our policy and has been removed, and we're investigating the seller to determine how this could have happened.”
Total Retail’s Take: This is an extremely unfortunate incident that should have never been allowed to happen. Retailers — in this case, Wal-Mart — need to do a better job of policing their online marketplaces. Third-party sellers that include offensive language in product headlines and descriptions is just one of many things that can go wrong on online marketplaces that aren't strictly monitored. Counterfeit and fraudulent products can also be posted by third-party sellers, misleading shoppers on what they're purchasing. Amazon.com is investing time and resources as well as working with brand partners to eliminate the sale of counterfeit goods on its marketplace.