Woolworths says sorry over Frankies

Johannesburg - Retailer Woolworths Holdings [JSE:WHL] on Wednesday said that it had decided to withdraw a soft drink range from its shelves after it was asked to remove the "Good Old Fashioned" phrase from the labels of its vintage soda range.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the company must remove the phrase "Good Old Fashioned" from the labels of its retro soft drinks.

This followed a complaint lodged by the owner of KwaZulu-Natal based company Frankies in late December, which said that Woolworths had copied its product line after it approached the retailer about selling the product in their stores.

"Whilst we maintain that we have not copied the Frankie's range, it is clear that public sentiment is against us," Woolworth's CEO Ian Moir said.

"Customer opinion is much more important to us than the right or wrong of this issue, and the trust of our customers is far more valuable to us than a product range," he said.

Woolworths said it was disappointed by the ASA's decision because it believed that no one could own the "Good Old Fashioned" descriptor.

"However, we have always been clear that we would abide by the ASA decision. We apologise to our customers for disappointing them," Moir said.
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