Woolworths Cans “Inappropriate” Anzac Day Website
As we approach the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, it’s perhaps a time to take stock of how lucky we are to live in a society (largely) free of conflict, and to perhaps reflect on the sacrifices made by those who came before us.
Woolworths, on the other hand, have seen this as on opportunity to cash in big.
In what can be most politely described as a poorly thought-out marketing campaign, Australia’s biggest supermarket this week launched Fresh In Our Memories – a website which commemorates our fallen diggers, and presumably celebrates the diggers’ enthusiasm for Woolies’ low, low prices.
The site, which has since been taken down, included an image generator which allowed users to upload their own image – any image – to the site.
The generator then inserted the words “Lest we forget, Anzac 1915-2015”, as well as the slogan “Fresh in our Memories” and a Woolworths logo.
The social media response was swift and brutal, and before you could say ‘unexpected item in bagging area’, #brandzacday was trending:
— Rachael Lonergan (@RachaelHasIdeas) April 14, 2015
Others chose to utilise the image generator to (quite rightly) highlight the pointlessness of war:
— The Daily Rupert (@TheMurdochTimes) April 14, 2015
Veterans’ Affairs Minister Michael Ronaldson has hit out at Woolworths, saying the campaign was inappropriate, and trivialised the use of the word ‘Anzac’, which can only be used with Government approval
“It was not appropriate, they did not have permission and, under the Protection of Word Anzac Act, I’ve got to authorise the use of the word Anzac and I did not provide it for those who are looking for purely commercial benefit,” Senator Ronaldson told the ABC.
Senator Ronaldson did concede that Woolies removed the page as soon as he requested them to do so, which would work in their favour, though looking at the response, the public may not be quite so forgiving.
Something we can all agree on, perhaps, is that Woolworths have done Australia a favour by reminding us what commemorating Anzac Day is not about, and that’s cashing in on the memories of the dead.