Woolworths in hot water over Anzac campaign

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 15th April 2015
Woolworths in hot water over Anzac campaign
Woolworths in hot water over Anzac campaign

Australian supermarket giant Woolworths may face a $50,000 fine over a social media campaign that used the word ‘Anzac’ in connection with the Woolworths’ slogan “Fresh Food People”.

The social media campaign, which Woolworths called “fresh in our memories”, encouraged Australian consumers to share a memory of someone affected by war to commemorate the centenary of the World War 1 Gallipoli campaign. The campaign asked people to change their social media profile pictures to an image of that person that was branded through a Woolworths website with the Woolworths logo and the text “Lest We Forget Anzac 1915-2015. Fresh in our memories”.

As well as causing outrage on social media, the attempt by the supermarket to link its “Fresh Food People” slogan with the Anzac story attracted the attention of Federal MInister for Veterans’ Affairs, Michael Ronaldson, who contact Woolworths asking the supermarket to end the campaign.

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. The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs has the ability to impose a maximum $50,000 fine for unapproved use of the word ‘Anzac’.

“In this instance, permission was not sought by the campaign proponents, nor would it have been approved,” Minister Ronaldson said.

“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,” Minister Ronaldson said.

Minister Ronaldson said he was “pleased that the campaign has now been withdrawn”.

“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,” Minister Ronaldson said.