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An observer
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Woolworths vs Frankies

02 February 2012, 10:06
I am amazed by the response of Woolworths at the ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority ("ASA") ruling that they should not use the phrase "Good Old Fashioned" on their product. "However, we have always been clear that we would abide by the ASA decision. We apologise to our customers for disappointing them," Woolworths CEO Ian Moir said. Woolworths said it was disappointed by the ASA's decision because it believed that no one could own the "Good Old Fashioned" descriptor. 

What about the actual product? What about the thought, conceptualisation, research, labelling, branding, testing and marketing effort that a small business put into this. What about the  lives of the owners of small businesses and their staff, who put in a major effort to think, conceptualise, research, label, brand, test, market and expend to try to make money, and then present these vested products to Woolworhts? Where is the respect by BIG business for this? Do they have a monopoly on effort as well?

The ethics stink.

Woolworths are disappointed by the ASA decision, but at the same time they take no responsibility for their own actions. They say the ASA are the "bad guys", because they were the one's who "disappointed" and that that "disappointment", by making the "wrong" decision, led to the disappointment of their customers. If the ASA had ruled in their favour, do they imagine that they would have been vindicated? It seems so - "Let's "roll over" small businesses by laws."

"Good Old Fashioned" ethics should have resulted in a response that they should accept that their actions were wrong, and that as a result they should eat "humble pie" and equit themselves as a business of the highest standing and ethics and make restitution to Frankies and their customers.

In my view, considering the new consciousness that is emerging here, an appropriate response might have been, "We made a mistake, and apologise to our customers and Frankies. These things happen from time-to-time but we are not perfect, but try to be. We promote great products and encourage small business to present their products to us and we give the assurances that this will not happen again."

A deluge of great products would have descended on Woolworhts if they did that, but small businesses will forever distrust them, and so will their previous customers.

It seems that Woolworths are not "moving with the times" - "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all of the time."

I am so grateful that this incident has occured. Now we can examine the claims that Woolworths make about "organic" food. What is organic? Can Woolworhts ensure us that their food is organic? Do they REALLY know what is organic? Do they have a non-GMO (genetically modifeid) sticker on their foods? Do they assure their customers that no chemical pesticides have been used in the growing of the produce? Even if they did could we trust this, or is this just another marketing ploy? Is the phrase "organic" just a marketing ploy, or do they REALLY "police" their suppliers?

I wonder how many of their other "products" or "product ideas" have been "appropriated" from other small businesses?

Come on Woolies get real. Are you just the "same old, same old" unethical corporate raiders or are you authentic. Now is the chance to show us that. Clearly, you have recently shown a different side to your character, and for that I will not buy from any of your stores again.
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