Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Lidl withdraws ad campaign

June 2010

The supermarket multinational Lidl has been forced to put an end to advertisements claiming it supports fair working conditions among its suppliers.

A complaint filed in Germany by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) accused Lidl of consumer deception in brochures distributed in Germany that said: ‘Lidl globally advocates fair working conditions. Therefore, at Lidl, we contract our non-food orders only to selected suppliers and producers that are willing to undertake and can demonstrate their social responsibility.’

However, CCC and ECCHR investigations into Lidl textile supplier factories in Bangladesh reported ‘inhumane’ working conditions, including excessive overtime, trade union prohibition and discrimination against female workers. After a legal challenge, Lidl eventually agreed to withdraw the adverts.

The latest incident is not the first CSR controversy involving Lidl, which is based in Germany.

In 2008 it was accused of a surveillance operation on staff, and last year received a score of zero out of 100 in an Environmental Investigation Agency report on UK supermarkets’ emissions performance.

Lidl | Global | Working Conditions

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