“We grow it, we sell it, you save” claim not misleading says Ad Standards

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 1st June 2016


A complaint against Spudshed, a chain of supermarkets in WA, has been dismissed.

The complainant alleged that the slogan, “We grow it, we sell it, you save”, as used in two TV advertisements, “is an out and out lie”.

Although the whole complaint was not disclosed, the usage of the slogan alongside the advertisement of products that could not be grown, such as bottled water and chocolate, appeared to be one basis of the complaint.

Spudshed’s defence

Spudshed defended the use of its slogan saying:

“As our prices at Spudshed are consistently low every week we do not advertise “half price” as frequently done by other advertisers. The statement “don’t be fooled” is in reference to the fact that other advertisers may have a product advertised as half price one week but then it will be more expensive the next week, whereas our prices are consistently low everyday, week in and week out.”

In relation to the television advertisement and the alleged contravention of “Food and Beverage Code 2.1. (a) – misleading or deceptive”, the supermarket said:

“Tony Galati owns a number of Spudshed stores in WA and also owns a number of farms from Manjimup and Myalup in the south to as far as Kununurra in the north. It is common knowledge that Tony grows a wide variety of potatoes as well as a range of produce such as onions, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage to name the main lines. On the Kununurra farm he grows mangoes and bananas and in Geraldton he grows table grapes. The produce grown on these farms is supplied direct to the Spudshed stores. In addition to this we have our own chicken farm that supplies freshly laid eggs to our stores on a daily basis,

The statement “we grow it” is part of the tag line “we grow it, we sell it, you save”. This refers to the fact that Spudshed sells fresh produce that has been grown on their own farms and that by reducing the number of people in the supply chain the consumer ultimately saves. The advert shows a variety of products, all of which are in fact grown on our own farms.

As a store, Spudshed does not only sell fresh produce or fruit and vegetables, we sell a wide variety of products such as bread, milk, meat and groceries. These products may be advertised in a commercial and any reasonable person would know that the tag line is not referring to these products. The statement is no different to Woolworths who claim to be “the fresh food people” yet sell non-food products and food that may not be considered “fresh” in the traditional sense as it may be canned or dried.

There is no intention on the part of Spudshed to mislead or deceive anyone and we are of the opinion that in no way does the advert in question do this.”

The Board’s decision

The Board in its decision noted that the product advertised is food and that therefore the provisions of the AANA Food and Beverages Advertising and Marketing Communications Code (the Food Code) applied, and in particular section 2.1 of the said Code, which provides:

“‘Advertising or marketing communications for food …shall be truthful and honest, shall not be or be designed to be misleading or deceptive or otherwise contravene prevailing community standards, and shall be communicated in a manner appropriate to the level of understanding of the target audience of the Advertising or Marketing Communication with an accurate presentation of all information including any references to nutritional values or health benefits.'”

The Board noted two advertisements with the slogan, “We grow it, we sell it, you save” but had noted that it had previously dismissed complaints about Woolworth’s use of the tagline, ‘Fresh Food People’ in case 0118/12 where:

“The Board noted that the word ‘fresh’ appears as part of the product descriptor next to the barcode under the fresh produce pictured in the advertisement. The Board noted the advertiser’s response that in order to meet year round demand some products may require the controlled use of cold storage. The Board noted that it is common practice for food bought in its natural state (i.e. not frozen or tinned) to be described as fresh and considered that Woolworths is not being misleading in using the word ‘fresh’ in relation to products such as strawberries, apples and salad leaves on the basis that Woolworths has stated they may use cold storage, not freezing, for some products some of the time and that the use of cold storage is reasonable in a country such as Australia which necessitates extensive travelling time for produce.”

The Board said in the Woolworths case that the word ‘fresh’ also appears in this advertisement as part of Woolworths’ logo: ‘the fresh food people’ but considered that the use of the word ‘fresh’ in this context was in relation to the Woolworths brand, rather than to the freshness of a specific product.

The Board said the complaint against Spudshed refers to the logo, ‘We grow it, we sell it, you save’ and considered that consistent with its previous determination in the Woolworths decision. In the Board’s view the advertisement would not suggest that the advertiser grows every single product available to purchase in their stores but rather the produce they are able to grow is sold by them. The Board considered most reasonable members of the community would not find the advertisement to be misleading.