Woolworths retreats over advertisement debacle

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 9th November 2015

Woolworths has dug itself into a hole with its recent advertisement starring fitness lifestyle guru Michelle Bridges.


Despite Woolworths being long associated with it marketing concept of the ‘Fresh Food people’, Bridges appeared to suggest in a commercial that fresh produce growers are “freaks”.


The advertisement which was posted online last week saw celebrity personal trainer Michelle Bridges in a garden setting eating soil and saying “Like everyone, I grow my own vegetables. Isn’t that right, darlings?” referring to the plants on screen.


The advertisement then cut to Bridges in a kitchen saying; “It’s time to get real, eating healthier doesn’t mean you have to act like a freak.” She then continued on to promote her new Woolworths exclusive health-focused frozen meals ranges, Nutritious Delicious.


Many have taken offence to  the advertisement saying those who grow and enjoy fresh produce are not “freaks”. Most criticism occurred online with complaints directed both at Woolworths’ and Michelle Bridge’s social media pages.


Woolworths and the Michelle Bridges reacted to the criticism with Michelle Bridges posting an apology on her Facebook saying the intention of the advertisement was not to offend.


“Hi Everyone, our intention with our ads for Delicious Nutritious were to poke fun at myself and what many see as “my (completely fictional) perfect life”, she stated.


Bridges continued on to say that she grows her own produces but understands that not everyone has time to always cook which is why she joined Woolworths to help create the Nutritious Delicious range.


Woolworths followed with an online statement saying it has now removed the advertisement.


“We’ve listened to your feedback about the latest Michelle Bridges video and have removed it. Our intention was never to upset anyone,” the statement said.


As the fresh food people we know how passionate our customers are about fresh food. We share their passion and want everyone to eat healthily whether they grow their own or choose healthy foods from our supermarket,” Woolworths stated.


It is not the first time a Woolworths advertisement has caused controversy in 2015. In April the supermarket found itself in hot water over  an advertisement which used the word ANZAC in connection to its slogan “Fresh Food People”.