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The Christian Science Monitor reports on the fact that Wal-Mart has become the object of both criticism and praise from various components of society.

Lauded by many for its selection and low prices, it also is criticized for its labor policies, whether in its treatment of union organizers, alleged gender discrimination, and accused use of illegal immigrants.

And the paper notes that much of Wal-Mart's advertising these days seems targeted at improving its public image, as opposed to actually selling stuff.

In some ways, criticism could be good for Wal-Mart, Jim Hoopes, professor of business ethics at Babson College, tell the Monitor. "It may be that the corporate level could use some pretty serious self-examination," he says, "as to how well it is meeting its ethical responsibility to enable the front-line [workers] to live up to its 'values.'"
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