Do they support plastic use, are they against it, should they supply bags for free, perhaps for a limited time, or maybe forever, no lets go back to a limited time.
Clearly they have no clear environmental policy or strategy, and their indecision on what option to use fluctuates more than a 15 year olds decision on what selfie to post!
The backlash to Coles ban on single use plastic bags has left consumers feeling insulted and frustrated. Initially, the concept was to remove single use plastic bags from their supermarkets in the attempt to help the environment. Well, that is what we were lead to believe. But it is quite clear that Coles has used the eco-warrior ruse to jump on a money-making band wagon.
Did they think that we would be fooled?
Firstly, according to an analysis by Queensland University of Technology retail expert Dr Gary Mortimer, Coles and Woolworths stand to make roughly $71 million in gross profit by replacing free lightweight plastic bags with the heavier 15c bags. This excludes profits from their more environmentally friendly material bag options which are being sold for $1-$3 per bag!
Secondly, banning single use plastic bags only to replace them with heavier plastic bags, still results in the use of plastic bags. The thicker ones may last slightly longer, but they too will break and end up in landfill. And lastly, not even a month after banning the plastic bags, Coles brings out a promotion that involves customers being rewarded with plastic covered, plastic toys for every $30 spent. These ‘Little Shop’ toys clearly show Coles lack of brand alignment when it comes to the environment.
The backlash to all of this behaviour has left consumers with a very bad taste in their mouths, and they have taken to social media to share the views on the topic. A campaign stating ‘COLES just ditched the plastic bag ban! SHARE if you will now ditch COLES’ has gained traction even though Coles has flipped back to a limited time on free 15c bags. Environment Victoria went to social media and shared a range of new thicker plastic bag designs for Coles to distribute which show the damage to wildlife and a beach affected by litter.
But it doesn’t end there. A website called fuckingmoles.com has been launched where you can buy your Coles Moles reusable cloth bag (which will last way longer than a plastic bag). You can now show your distaste for Coles’ plastic bag ban backflip, with a reusable bag that gives the supermarket giant the big ol’ middle finger.
This move to single use bags reeks of money, deception and lies. The back flipping could rival Olympian gymnasts but the question is, will the Australian consumer support this trumped up, deceptive behaviour. Or will they choose to talk with their feet and head to supermarkets such as Aldi, Woolworths or IGA?
If Coles wants to maintain their position as one of the super-super market giants, then they are going to have to take a very close look at their brand alignment and bring some authenticity into the mix.
In a world where glass ceilings are still so prevalent and industries are notorious for undermining and underestimating the power, intelligence and determination of women, it is disappointing to see one of our largest insurance companies view their opinion of women to the entire nation.
It appears that GIO sees women as stupid, uneducated fools that have no idea what insurance they may or may not have. In their recent ‘You Know With GIO’ campaign that has aired prolifically during the Monday screening on Channel 7 of The Mentor, GIO has an advert which is both condescending and undermining to women.
The marketing team (or Leo Burnett to be precise) was called in to brainstorm areas of customer concern or pain points and then to problem solve these with solutions that GIO can provide the client. With painstaking research they discover that most people don’t know what they are covered for. Bingo, they have a strategy. This all seems perfectly harmless and quite frankly it’s standard marketing practice.
However, it is in the execution of the advert that the GIO marketers have fallen far from the mark. GIO replied to a tweet of mine saying “it’s (the advert) designed to be an education piece based on the insight that many people may not know what they are covered for.”
The problem with this is that the ‘many people’ in the advert only appear to be somewhat dazed, unsure, confused women. Not a single man was shown not knowing what they are covered for.
Gender bias? Absolutely.
Condescending towards women? Without a doubt.
Perhaps GIO should look further into their ‘insight’ to determine exactly how many women are organising insurance. I would imagine there would be a fair amount of us. Which means that their condescending brand is insulting the very customers they are trying to attract.
Now I’m sure that the advert appears in many time slots however I find the positioning of the advert during a small business program interesting. Clearly GIO has done their research and gained from the 2016 census that more women are starting and running businesses than ever before. And no, we are not all helpless, unknowing, pathetic souls who have no idea about our insurance.
As a business owner of two companies, the decision maker on our home and content insurance and the one who manages our investment property insurance, I can assure you that I will make a very educated decision not to support a brand that undermines women. The omission of depicting a clueless man in your advert screams loud and clear to the nation, that GIO believes that only men know about insurance.