Dead fish and eggs rile Woolworths customer

02 November 2017 - 12:10 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
Clarks argued in a separate complaint that the image of a dead fish was contradictory to the message of rescue‚ when the fish in the advertisement is no longer alive.
Clarks argued in a separate complaint that the image of a dead fish was contradictory to the message of rescue‚ when the fish in the advertisement is no longer alive.
Image: MARIA LUISA LOPEZ ESTIVILL/123RF.com

Pictures of dead yellowtail tuna fish on delivery trucks hardly inspired confidence for Alison Clark that Woolworths was living up to its promise to support sustainable fishing.

Clark regarded the image of a dead fish as being highly contradictory to the food retailer's accompanying message: "Woolworths sea rescue - our fish is responsibly sourced." So she complained to the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA).

And there was more to crow about when she saw the retailer's adverts for eggs‚ which proclaimed: "Born free - our hens are never kept in cages."

Clark argued that the signage about born free eggs was misleading and not based on scientific facts. She said it was a known fact that all of the poultry used in both the meat and egg industry was captive.

According to Clark‚ all male chicks born in hatcheries in the egg industry‚ are destroyed within the first 24-48 hours of their hatching‚ as they have no value to the egg industry.

Adams & Adams attorneys‚ acting on behalf of Woolworths‚ said the retailer was not a member of the ASA but addressed the merits of the matter in detail. An undertaking was given to amend the advertising within three months of the ASA ruling date.

Clarks argued in a separate complaint that the image of a dead fish was contradictory to the message of rescue‚ when the fish in the advertisement is no longer alive.

Woolworths undertook to amend the adverts‚ but requested to be given three months to make the changes. “We voluntarily offered to change the advertising on seven of our trucks as we value the feedback from our customer‚" Spencer Sonn‚ managing director at Woolworths‚ told TimesLive.

“We are proud of our achievements in animal welfare‚ particularly our free range eggs and the Good Business Journey we have been on for the last 10 years.”

The ASA accepted the retailer’s undertaking.

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