THE ad agency which came up with the ‘Fresh in Our Memories’ campaign for Woolworths has gone into hiding.
Carrspace has deleted its Twitter account and its website is unavailable. Their Facebook page is still live however causing people to post that the agency’s actions are an overreaction to the social media bungle and that they should take responsibility for their ideas.
Meanwhile things have gone from bad to worse for Woolworths.
Now the Federal government has blasted the Australian supermarket giant for “inappropriate” and unauthorised use of ANZAC in its advertising after a disastrous campaign that has backfired badly on social media.
The “Fresh in Our Memories” website — linking ANZAC commemorations to the retailer’s “Fresh Food People” branding tag line — was taken down overnight amid claims that it was in very poor taste.
Veterans’ Affairs Minister Michael Ronaldson weighed in this morning, saying Woolies would not have been given permission for the advertising had it been sought.
“While I acknowledge that Woolworths moved quickly to address the situation, I hope this is a reminder to others that the regulations are in place for good reason and that they will be rigorously enforced,” Senator Ronaldson said in a statement.
The Minister said he had become aware of the advertising late yesterday. Under the Protection of Word ANZAC Act 1920, permission for the use of the word ‘ANZAC’ in any such material must be granted by the Australian Government.
“In this instance, permission was not sought by the campaign proponents, nor would it have been approved.
“Immediately upon having this campaign brought to my attention, I contacted Woolworths and asked them to end it. I am pleased that the campaign has now been withdrawn.”
Woolworths encouraged members of the public to share stories and profile-style pictures of loved ones affected by or lost to war by uploading images to a website that then branded them with Woolworths logo and the phrase “Lest we Forget 1915-2015. Fresh in our memories.” This was thought to be too close to their “Fresh Food People” jingle
In a statement, Woolworths said: “We regret that our branding on the picture generator has caused offence, this was clearly never our intention.
“Like many heritage Australian companies, we were marking our respect for ANZAC and our veterans.”
The food retailer said the site was developed to give staff and customers a place to put their stories to mark the Centenary of ANZAC.
In an earlier statement, Woolworths denied the commemoration was a marketing ploy and defended its record of raising money for the Returned Services League (RSL).
To be fair to Woolworths however they are not the only company to try and associate their brand with the ANZAC legend, a phenomenon referred to as “Brandzac.”
Carlton & United Breweries has been running the “Raise A Glass” campaign associating VB beer with ANZAC, with none other than General Sir Peter Cosgrove (Rtd) taking a leading role in the campaign.
Penrith Panthers RLFC are offering a limited edition ANZAC jersey for $180. Essendon and Collingwood AFL clubs are offering an ANZAC day jumper for $135.
While CUB is a major contributor to ANZAC and legacy charities, it remains uncertain where monies from other “ANZAC” commercial ventures are going.
Tighter control and scrutiny by government is required in respect of the use and association with all things relating to ANZAC.