Modern Marketing Brand Safety

Walmart ‘Juneteenth’ ice-cream sparks accusations of commercial exploitation

By John Glenday | Reporter

May 24, 2022 | 3 min read

Walmart stands accused of a bad-taste marketing drive with the release of a plethora of ‘Juneteenth’-themed products, ranging from ice-cream to party decorations.

The US national holiday was created last year to commemorate the abolition of slavery, but has been criticized by campaigners who argue that this is insufficient for the gravity of the occasion.

Walmart

The Walmart ice-cream trademarks the word ‘Juneteenth’

It was against this backdrop that Walmart blundered into the picture with its themed sales drive, with social media users quick to pour scorn on the choice of merchandise. This included an ice-cream that trademarks the word ‘Juneteenth’ and features prominent ‘great value’ branding.

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Aghast at the full-blooded capitalism on display, one Twitter user tweeted: “Capitalism is a retail conglomerate, owned by a white billionaire family, marketing an ice cream to celebrate a holiday that commemorates the emancipation of slaves in a country that was literally built on the backs [of] slaves. See: Walmart’s Juneteenth ice cream.”

Another Twitter user pointed out that anyone wishing to support the Black community should forego Walmart’s options and purchase Creamalicious instead.

Other brands have been more successful in associating with the new holiday, including Meta, which has pledged to support Black business owners and creators as part of its long-term commitment to the community.

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