HEL*MART is a satirical Walmart parody apparel project.
It started with a parody graphic poking fun at a hellish Walmart consumer experience and the numerous and seemingly endless unflattering headlines about the company. The spoof image happened to be displayed temporarily on a completely unrelated web site that we had submitted for advertising through Google and when they saw it they responded:
At this time, Google policy does not permit the advertisement of "Anti Wal*Mart Content" on our website. We also do not permit sites that sell these products to advertise on Google.
There was no mention of Walmart in the graphic (much less that anything was being either advertised or sold ... at least not at that point) but the devilish play on it's logo and reference to sweatshops was apparently enough to recognize what was being parodied. That it was gave us an idea and presented a fun and unique opportunity so we ran with it.
Since it's inception in 2002, HEL*MART has sold all sorts of shirts to awesome people all across the United States and Canada and fanned the love/hate passions on both sides of the Walmart controversy. In spite of the impression left on "The Google AdWords Team" and others, HEL*MART, while critical and mocking, is not an anti-Walmart project. It is not designed nor intended to inform, organize any sort of protest against the company or push any particular agenda except, perhaps, to encourage folks to support their local businesses, their communities and ultimately themselves in doing so; not to necessarily completely boycott Walmart, especially in those communities or circumstances where it has become impractical if not impossible to do so. The project is a more or less merely a comedic perspective (sharing in that of The Simpsons, King of the Hill, MadTV, SNL, Bill Maher, etc.) on the highly visible and ongoing controversy surrounding many of Walmart's practices.