Words By: Mandy Moe Pwint Tu
Image Credit: Sky News
Woolworths has recently come under fire for staining the spirit of ANZAC, with a marketing campaign so distasteful that the Minister for Veteran Affairs, Michael Ronaldson, claims that he immediately demanded the campaign be taken down the instant he saw it.
The campaign showed the company’s logo, the word Anzac, and the phrase “Fresh in our Memories” plastered over the greyscale faces of fallen soldiers. It may have been deemed harmless had the company not used the word ‘fresh’ consistently when promoting their products. In addition, considering that the Anzac Day centenary is just around the corner, it is perhaps no wonder that this marketing move was met by many with outrage.
Criticisms poured in from social media, a message to the Woolworths official Facebook page stated: ‘How dare you appropriate the image of an Anzac soldier to sell your wares in the way that you have.’
Meanwhile, Woolworths claimed that “Fresh in our Memories” is not a marketing campaign, and asserted that it is a national partner of the RSL and Camp Gallipoli. It did, however, promptly take down the commemoration website which had included a ‘Profile Picture Generator’. The hope had been to encourage the uploading of photos which would then be stamped with the Fresh in our memories and Woolworths logo, to be used on social media.
Veteran Affairs Minister Michael Ronaldson stated that Woolworths had failed to acquire permission to use the word ‘Anzac’ in their campaign. Under the Protection of the Word Anzac Act, the penalties for unauthorized use of the word ‘Anzac’ are $10,000 for an individual, $50,000 for a corporation, or twelve months’ imprisonment. While Woolworths will not be paying a fine because they stopped the campaign, the Department of Veteran Affairs reinforces the importance of obtaining authorization before using the word ‘Anzac’ for any purpose, commercial or otherwise.
It is interesting to note that while ‘Anzac’ is protected by the Department of Veteran Affairs, ‘Gallipoli’ is not.
Michael Ronaldson adds: “Between now and Anzac Day and thereafter, I will remain ever vigilant as to the use of this word, and the Australian community quite frankly deserves no less.”