I am continually appalled by the “nicewashing” that is going on in corporate ads. You see them all the time – a huge conglomerate puts and ad out that seemingly isn’t selling anything, but instead points out what a great company they are.

The largest recent offender is the largest destroyer of middle-America: Wal-Mart. They have run a series

of print and television ads pointing out how they are “working for Americans” and “providing senior citizens with jobs” while extolling the virtues of their “commitment to communities.” The sad part is that many people will actually believe this… their only commitment is to profits – regardless of how many small businesses go under in their wake, regardless of how many jobs are replaced by low paying gigs, and regardless of how many millions they spend to convince the public otherwise.

A new one I saw today was from Budweiser.. in a more down-to-earth family approach to their “real men of genius” and “real American heroes” campaigns, they now say…”who do we brew Budweiser for? Americans” and then go on to point out that the majority of their stock is owned by Americans. They brew beer for profits, not to help the American worker… does anyone really believe this kind of puffery?

Daimler Chrysler is another… Jeep advertises that their Liberty Renegade will give customers “the power to conquer nature or to protect it.” The Jeep Liberty Renegade gets an extremely low 16 miles per gallon. These vehicles pollute the air, land and water. Advertising the Jeep as a tool to protecting nature is not only misleading to the public, but an outright lie… protect nature with a Jeep? Who believes this stuff?

These guys are the enemy… not the generous and proud Americans they pretend to be.

“Lou Dobbs Tonight” started tracking corporate crime after Enron filed for bankruptcy more than two years ago. In that time, over 100 executives in corporate America have been criminally charged — more than 20 of them from Enron. The number of charged as well as those incarcerated continues to grow each day. Check this scorecard for the latest figures.

Total executives charged* — 130
Enron executives charged — 23
Executives sent to jail — 13
Date Enron filed for bankruptcy — December 2, 2001
* Includes Enron executives

These are just the ones that have been charged.