Cashing in on the Anzac legacy
Source: Woolworths Facebook page
is under attack for its latest advertising campaign, the Fresh In Our Memories website, which attempted to cash in on the Anzac legacy.
The website, which has now been taken down, encouraged people to upload pictures of their loved ones affected by or lost to war. A profile picture generator would then overlay the Woolworths logo alongside the words "Fresh In Our Memories" before users of the site could share the image on social media.
Campaign angers Minister
The site was taken down Tuesday night, following widespread criticism including from the Minister for Veterans' Affairs Michael Ronaldson.
Permission to use the word 'Anzac' must be granted by the federal government and no such permission was sought by Woolworths, said Mr Ronaldson in a statement.
"Nor would it have been approved," he said.
Supermarket may be fined
Woolworths now faces a potential fine of up to $51,000 for its use of the word Anzac.
"The Australian community quite rightly expects that the word 'Anzac' is not trivialised or used inappropriately and as Minister for Veterans' Affairs, I am responsible for ensuring that any use of the word 'Anzac' does not provide commercial benefit to an organisation," said Mr Ronaldson.
Woolworths posted a statement in response to the debacle on its Facebook page saying: "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."
CHOICE spokesperson Tom Godfrey said, "Woolworths' attempt to capitalise on Anzac Day has clearly left a bad taste in the mouths of Australian consumers".
"Woolworths seem out of touch with everyday Aussies and seeking to profit from one of the most sacred days on the calendar is just plain rotten."
Australians protest online
People also took to the Twittersphere to show their disgust at the campaign and criticised Woolworths for using the Anzac legacy as a branding exercise.
Here's a few examples of the hashtags #freshinourmemories and #brandzacday which have attracted interest on Twitter.