Walmart dropped $18 million on ads to help repair its brand image

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Walmart dropped $18 million on ads to boast about how much its doing to buy American products and train its workforce, according to a report from The New York Times.

The ads are meant to help repair Walmart’s reputation, particularly around how it treats its massive workforce. The company has been on the receiving end of plenty of criticism over its low pay while raking in billions in profit.

Walmart looks to tug at the heart strings with the ads that highlight employees who go through its training programs.

The Times points out that Walmart has spent $2.7 billion on training programs and wages increases in the past couple years. Its stores have, in some areas, become one of the few places where people can still find work.

Walmart does not want those efforts to go unnoticed, hence the $18 million for ads about its programs.

For a company like Walmart, $18 million is just small change, but it can go a ways in other areas.

A little less than $0.01 per ‘associate’

A reminder of how massive Walmart isthe company has around 2.1 million “associates,” which are the people who work in their stores and generally receive low wages.

So for Walmart, which had an operating income (aka profit) of $22.8 billion in its 2017 fiscal year, $18 million really is a drop in the bucket.

Pay back 18 Walmart communities

Walmart’s low wages have a serious impact on the communities in which their stores operate. The company’s employees who don’t make enough money to meet their needs end up using public assistance programs that cost an estimated $6.2 billion.

That comes out to between $900,000 and $1.75 million per year, according to a study by Americans for Tax Fairness, which is a collective of progressive groups.

If we conservatively go with $1 million per area, that means Walmart could go ahead and pay back 18 communities that are forced to counteract the company’s low wages.

The healthcare deductible of 6,500 employees

Walmart does offer healthcare to its employees, but plans have extremely high deductibles, which is the amount of money people have to pay before insurance begins to pay for the costs.

Walmart’s plan for individuals has a deductible of around $2,750, though others have claimed that number is even higher. That means Walmart’s ad money could have helped out around 6,545 employees with their deductibles.

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