Woolies Calls Home Food Growers “Freaks”
November 10, 2015
Supermarket giant Woolworth’s are in the social media firing line currently as their latest campaign calls people who grow their own food at home “freaks”. The ads are for Michelle Bridges new range of healthy frozen food meals, and feature tongue-in-cheek snippets of Bridges “(completely fictional) perfect life". The intention was to poke fun at Bridges and convey to consumers that achieving a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be completely life consuming. However that is not the light in which it has been received on social media.
Thousands of spiteful comments have been posted across Facebook, Instagram and on Twitter, over the poorly researched campaign.
“Disappointing to see @MishBridges promoting frozen overly packaged meals over fresh vegetables for @woolworths - misleading and unethical”, writes one user on Twitter.
“Last night I ate beans straight from my garden when I should have microwaved some crap-laden processed food,” another person wrote on Facebook.
“Thank god Michelle Bridges has shown me the error of my ways.”
Woolworths have responded to the slams, removing the controversial video from their Facebook page stating, “We’ve listened to your feedback about the latest Michelle Bridges video and have removed it. Our intention was never to upset anyone. As the fresh food people, we know how passionate our customers are about fresh food. We share their passion and want everyone to eat healthily – whether they grow their own or choose healthy foods from our supermarkets.”
This is not the first time this year Woolworths have been in hot water for a controversial and offensive campaign. By sending out messages to consumers that they are “freaks”, regardless of the intention, one must assume they are well aware of the controversy. Potentially this was the goal. However, this campaign is a direct conflict with Woolworths corporate messaging and to avoid future problems, significant market research should always be carried out to ensure the backlash does not continue.