“Made In USA” Claims: A Quick And Dirty Guide

“Made in USA”, Lupor Metal Products, NY (CC Joe M., 2007)

Have you ever bought a product because it said “Made in USA”? I have, because I believe in buying local. Because I hoped that my money would go towards creating jobs and help businesses grow, creating local economies that are largely self-supporting. I looked at the label that boldly stated that it was manufactured in this country and I trusted the company. Ah, the innocence! Little did I know that claiming to be “Made in USA” is a territory marked with loopholes, misinformation, ambiguous labeling and outright lies. “All-American” goods like Converse sneakers and Levi’s jeans are made overseas. Good old American cars are from Mexico. Coors is equal part Canadian, Brazilian and South African as it is American. New Balance is in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the advertising watchdog, for making “American Made” claims, as was Craftsman. The list is long and saddening. Continue reading

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Talking To The Post-Recession Consumer

P L Chadwick [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Shopping will never be the same. (CC P L Chadwick)

We would like to believe that the worst of the recession is behind us. Although we are cautiously optimistic about the future, deep down we know that things will never be the same. The downturn scared us good. Goodbye mindless consumption and hello budgets. In a study by Ogilvy of 1200 American respondents, 73% said they would rather have fewer, high quality things. A full 92% say they are using coupons, 91% are shopping at cheaper/discount stores and 90% are buying more store brands. Those who spent recklessly in the good old days are starting to enjoy a more thrifty lifestyle. The post-recession consumer is here to stay. Continue reading