Coles accused of ‘making money from cancer’

Supermarket giant Coles is facing allegations that it is profiting from a campaign to raise money to fight cancer.

Coles has been selling bunches of flowers for $6 to raise money for Cancer Council, and only donating $1 towards the charity, a customer has claimed on the brand’s Facebook page.

The customer, AJ Tennant, a copywriter at Traffik Marketing, called the promotion “a quick grab for cash piggy backing on a worthy cause.”

He has demanded that the supermarket gives all of the proceedings from its Daffodil Day campaign to fight the disease.

Coles responded with the following a few hours after Tennant’s original post:

A Coles spokesman claimed that Cancer Council has said that the charity “could not run their helpline without the funds raised at Coles”.

The spokesman told Mumbrella in a statement:

All of the profits from our Daffodil Day shopping bag and the sales of Cancer Council merchandise such as pens and pins goes directly to the Cancer Council. The $1 per bunch donation through the sale of fresh daffodils is an additional fundraiser introduced to an existing product line previously sold in our stores and until recently not linked to any charity. We are proud of the efforts of our team and our customers in supporting cancer sufferers and their families. Thanks to their enthusiasm and generosity Coles is the biggest corporate supporter of the Cancer Council.

At the time of writing, the post had been ‘liked’ by more than 800 people and had drawn 63 comments.

Coles has not contributed further to the comment thread at the time of writing.

Comments


  1. Chris
    29 Aug 12
    12:20 pm

  2. So in summary, yes. they are piggybacking, keeping their profit margin but raising the price of the daffodils by the dollar that goes to charity.

  3. Hmmmm...
    29 Aug 12
    12:31 pm

  4. So if I read this correctly, it’s Coles customers who are doing the donating. Coles ups the price, the customers pay the extra, and the extra goes to the Cancer Council. Doesn’t cost Coles a cent.

    If that’s the case, Coles is a massive bunch of see-you-next-tuesdays.

  5. Ricki
    29 Aug 12
    12:32 pm

  6. And this is true of nearly all consumer goods sold by brands to ‘aid cancer’ or raise awareness or whatever other nebulous claim they make.

    Don’t buy any of this stuff either yellow or pink. A lot of the money ends up paying for company cars or ‘awareness’ advertising. And a lot of the time these groups are competing for your attention instead of focusing on getting rid of cancer.

    Donate directly to a research foundation whose costs are paid out of a trust if you want to make an impact against cancer.

    I recommend the Australian Cancer Research Foundation or the Garvan Institute.

  7. TimT
    29 Aug 12
    12:36 pm

  8. I love how they’ve written a 2 paragraph response about how much money they raise but still not answered the question posed to them. Spin doctor much?

  9. Daniel-Jacob Santhou
    29 Aug 12
    12:52 pm

  10. A dollar goes a long way :)

  11. Shamma
    29 Aug 12
    1:15 pm

  12. guilty til proven innocent in the world of social media eh

  13. Golum
    29 Aug 12
    1:36 pm

  14. yes, you keyboard warrior prats it’d be better for cancer sufferers if Coles cancelled this initiative because it doesn’t meet your juvenile ideal of how a corporate should be involved in charitable giving

    how dare Coles entice YOU to spend YOUR money instead of just theirs!

    The village has called and wants its idiots back. You probably can’t take the call right now, though, because your heads are up your own bums.

  15. Joey
    29 Aug 12
    1:38 pm

  16. Agree TimT…they didn’t answer the initial post.

    Which suggestes that “yes”, they are keeping some level of profit from the sale.

    I suppose a buck to a charity is better than zero but the exercise doesn’t really show Coles up to be great with its CSR.

    They probably screwed the flower grower on price too.

  17. Kelly
    29 Aug 12
    1:44 pm

  18. So dodgy.

    But I wouldn’t be surprised if they trot out the Cancer Council to defend this, given that I get accosted by backpacker chuggers profit sharing with Cancer Council fundraising pretty much every day on my way to lunch.

  19. The Accountant
    29 Aug 12
    1:45 pm

  20. This is why PR companies should not manage social media. What a typical PR bullshit response instead of giving a meaningful one.

  21. elephino
    29 Aug 12
    1:49 pm

  22. Has Coles upped the price? Those commenting should check that before accusing them of it.

  23. Jack Bruce
    29 Aug 12
    1:50 pm

  24. I get the feeling that the whole Cancer thing has been hijacked by people out for their own ends……I am always confused by the amount of competing charities in the cancer arena…surely they should work together?

    If you want some interesting reading have a browse of some of the annual reports out there…….very informative…or damning depending on your point of view

  25. Curtis Stone
    29 Aug 12
    1:54 pm

  26. It’s about transparency Coles… Signage promoting the $1 donation from every bunch sold should be clearly provided so customers are aware of how much, or how little, of the flower sales are actually being directed to the charity. $1 is better than $0, but misleading customers into thinking they’re giving more through the purchase is evil.

  27. Golum
    29 Aug 12
    1:56 pm

  28. The Accountant, given that Coles is clearly keeping the profit, what sort of response would you suggest?

    “Dear Self-Righteous Twat,
    Some people like to buy daffodils, not pens. If they buy ours, the Cancer Council will get a buck it otherwise wouldn’t.
    Since you’re so keen on us giving away our shareholder’s profit, how about you share with us just how much you’ve donated to Charity this year, in absolute terms and as a percentage of your income. You can cite is pre or post tax, we don’t mind
    Yours in the interest of frank and full disclosure,
    Down, Down, Prices are Down”

  29. Jay L
    29 Aug 12
    2:12 pm

  30. Sadly have to agree with Golum on this one. $6 has been the price of Coles Daffodils for some time and isn’t it great that they are giving a chunk of their proceeds away to a charity (and $1 per bunch would be a fair chunk of proceeds) rather than nothing? Who are we to say it has to be all or nothing?

    If we start to get over-critical of corporates that try and do something good for the community then don’t we run the risk of them just not getting involved in social causes over fear of unwarranted public backlash?

    Coles is doing at least something to support the fight against cancer. I say fantastic – would love to see more of it from Australian businesses.

  31. Paul the freelance writer
    29 Aug 12
    2:12 pm

  32. If I want to buy flowers, I resent the suggestion that Coles is ‘distracting’ me from buying a pen or a pin – or anything else. Of course it is not distracting me. Am I supposed to go, “Oh, there’s a pen! I forgot what I came in for!” just because some savant has prescribed the percentage of the price they have decided Coles should send to a charity?

    The argument smacks of coercion based around the typically hysterical bait and switch technique favoured by the logic-starved.

    Another reason for corporations to get off social media and leave Facebook, Twitter to those who have more than enough time for it.

  33. Rex
    29 Aug 12
    2:16 pm

  34. So Coles run a promotion. It happens to be a charity promotion but it still is aimed at bringing consmers to Coles and creating the perception that Coles is one of the good guys. But wait, they make a prifit out of the promotion as well. Brilliant!

  35. Rex
    29 Aug 12
    2:21 pm

  36. So Coles run a promotion. It happens to be a charity promotion but it still is aimed at bringing consmers to Coles and creating the perception that Coles is one of the good guys. But wait, they make a profit out of the promotion as well. Brilliant!

  37. Dave
    29 Aug 12
    2:29 pm

  38. Thank you Golum for actually talking some sense.

    Im sorry was everyone born yesterday? Did you just realise that Coles is here to make a profit?

    The fundraising that some of the biggest businesses do are invaluable to the community sector, especially in an era where government funding for community programs is being slashed.

    Savvy community organisations know that working with corporates means that if you help them meet their profit goals, community organisations will also get their needs met. This method of partnership has been around for years and helps protect community organisations in an economic downturn as this approach shows that business is not just giving money away to charity, but is receiving a return on this investment.

  39. James
    29 Aug 12
    2:30 pm

  40. Down, down … ethics are down.

  41. Paul
    29 Aug 12
    2:40 pm

  42. If what JayL said is correct (that $6 has been Coles’ price for some time) then surely that is the end of the argument.
    It’s amazing how naive some people are about how charities and companies work in partnership to raise funds for good causes.
    Any more uninformed vitriol like we are reading on this blog may well be enough to persuade companies like Coles that it is simply not worth it any more.
    If that happens, charitable causes will suffer.

  43. Chloe
    29 Aug 12
    2:45 pm

  44. @paul the freelance writer, I think the point is that if you have made the decision to buy something to support Daffodil Day and purchase daffodils from Coles, you would assume the full amount goes to the Cancer Council. If you realised it did not, you may purchase an official Cancer Council item instead.

  45. Marie
    29 Aug 12
    2:49 pm

  46. $6 for flowers is pretty good. Even better that a buck goes towards research. They DO donate money. They make money from flowers anyway – 1 buck on top of everything else, is pretty good.

  47. Golum
    29 Aug 12
    2:54 pm

  48. Rex, please join the queue of hessian-shirt wearing Green Left Weekly pamphleteers who seem to think that it’s a company’s job to fund cancer research entirely out of its profit base.

    And Traffik Marketing please sack your copywriter AJ Tennant for lacking both intelligence and judgment

  49. Anonymous
    29 Aug 12
    2:55 pm

  50. It’s ridiculous to suggest that Coles should donate the full $6 from the sale of every bunch of daffodils. Especially considering they’re a line they normally sell.

    If Coles gave the full $6 from every bunch they would be out more than the $6 every bunch when you consider purchasing the daffodils from growers, packaging, transportation, marketing, paying their staff to sell them to customers.

    What people don’t understand is that the Cancer Council provides all the pens and pins etc to Coles to sell and Coles is already donating money towards getting them out and selling them through staff costs. So when Coles sell their daffodils as an extra way of raising money and awareness, it’s a good thing.

    Why not lash out at Woolies for not even doing that much?

  51. Golum
    29 Aug 12
    2:56 pm

  52. …oh, and AJ Tennant can you confirm that when you were wasting time having a crack at Coles on Facebook at 11.24am, not at work?

    If it happened while you were at work, can you pls recompense Traffik Marketing for that portion of your salary spent on unproductive bullshit.

  53. Laura
    29 Aug 12
    3:05 pm

  54. If the price of Coles daffodils is always $6 then at least we know Coles hasn’t imposed more of a mark-up.

    But the real damning thing here is the association with daffodil day and the associated branding etc. – surely sales of Coles daffodils would have increased, given the huge exposure of Daffodil Day etc.? Would love to see those figures – pretty sure they would confirm or deny whether Coles really is profiting from cancer (my bet’s on profiting).

  55. Rob
    29 Aug 12
    3:10 pm

  56. @Curtis Stone given the original complainant was aware of the $1 from the $6 bunch being donated to charity, seems they were being totally transparent all along.

    Mr Tennant chose to ask Coles “how much money are you making out of cancer” when he could have easily said “how much money is cancer making out of Coles”.

    It’s all about your perspective and attitude.

  57. Rodney A Smith
    29 Aug 12
    3:13 pm

  58. Surprise, surprise, here we have another example of profits for Coles at any cost. While they might support the Cancer Council in other was if much more of the money went to the CC, then the CC would be all the better off. This is yet another reason to stay well away from Coles and Woolworths, because they not only pressure suppliers, they now skim whatever then can from a charity. Prices are down down, along with ethics, but profits are up, up.

  59. Rob The Client
    29 Aug 12
    3:42 pm

  60. Speaking as a client I’m starting to become a little bit concerned with Mumbrella’s coverage of various social media ‘crises’. Your team do a bloody good job at keeping us informed about what’s going on in the industry. However, publishing stories about brands in turmoil – stories that rarely contain anything more than a copy and paste job from said brand’s Facebook page – amounts to nothing more than journalistic ambulance chasing.

    As brand custodians we do our utmost to deliver the best possible experience to our customers every time they want access to us, on whatever platform they choose. Consequently many brands have built very large social footprints in a short space of time. One of the key reasons for the rapid growth of these platforms is that social allows everyone to have a voice and to share their opinions – which is exciting and terrifying in equal parts for many marketeers. Gone are the days of receiving a letter from ‘Disgruntled of Darebin’ and being able to deal with that person via private correspondence. These days those posts go on Facebook for the world to see, including journalists, and we have to handle each response with the same level of care and sensitively no matter what has been said – even if the point that has been raised is ill-informed, overly pedantic, or just flat out incorrect. For example, does anyone really believe that Target’s ambition for the 2012 Girlswear range was ‘trampy’? Of course not but because one mother chose to share her opinion about the range via Target’s Facebook page you guys decided it was a story – it wasn’t. We know nothing about that particular person’s background, their politics, their motivation, their circumstances, nothing. For instance, what if we knew that post was written by a member of the Taliban? I’m pretty sure everyone would have dismissed it as the ravings of a crackpot. ‘Yeah, but it got 54K likes” I hear you say. So what? Target has over 18M people in their Facebook community. For a group of that size it’s probably very common to receive 50K likes on a story. In fact, they got over 83K likes on a post just this morning.

    Many academics have studied the impact of a social media interaction relative to real world behavioural change. Most recently Alain De Botton spoke at Cannes warning us about placing too much emphasis on social feedback. Perhaps most famously Malcolm Gladwell spoke about this in a piece her wrote for The New Yorker a couple of years ago (http://www.newyorker.com/repor.....rentPage=2). In this piece he talks about the difference between ‘strong ties’ and ‘weak ties’. In short, it is a lot easier to like a Facebook post than it is to get off your arse and do something about the cause at hand. I usually refer this as ‘armchair activism’. I have seen everything from the mundane to the emotionally manipulative accumulate an astonishing number of likes and comments on Facebook (e.g. “Do you prefer pop corn or choc tops when you go to the cinema?” vs any number of images containing children looking forlornly at the grave of a fallen soldier). The question is: are the outputs of these posts a true barometer of popular sentiment? For example, I work for a movie company and last week we released a fantastic, if confronting, documentary about bullying. The response to our social work was astonishing. People were showing their support in the kind of numbers we’d only see for a major blockbuster. The numbers were genuinely off the charts. However, when we checked the weekend box office figures did we see Bully outperform its market? No we didn’t. The reality is it is much easier to like a post than it is to act of the message.

    It’s important to say, I am not suggesting that the opinions shared in the pieces you’ve covered are invalid or unimportant. If someone has gone to the time and effort to write to a brand then that brand is obligated to respond to that person in a timely and appropriate manner. What I am asking though is that when you’re making decisions about whether a story is worthy of publication you think more carefully about whether you’ve actually got a story at all. In the case of this Coles piece saying littered with quotations and allegedly’s (“a customer has claimed” that Coles is profiting from daffodil sales) is a witch hunt pure and simple. Jumping on the band wagon while bellowing “j’accuse” is not what we’ve come to expect from the team at Mumbrella.

    Cheers,
    Saddened of South Yarra.

  61. Dorothy
    29 Aug 12
    3:43 pm

  62. Geez, AJ Tennant gets around. This same goon has been posting angry rants on one of the big brand pages I manage too. So sick of keyboard warriors.

  63. Lisa
    29 Aug 12
    3:49 pm

  64. Agree with Laura. Given that Coles had always sold their daffodils for $6, I think it is great they are donating $1 of it. They havent marked up the price, but has eaten into their profits instead. yes, maybe more people buythe daffodil. But also more people are away of Daffodil day from this partnership. The cost of selling the daffodils is more than the cost of daffodils itself. In retail there are other hidden costs such as wages, commercial space (could they have sold something else), transport etc. I think it is a win win situation all around. And while I do believe in a lot of what Cancer Council is doing, it is also because of them that the parraa council is embroiled in lawsuits and us residents have to pay for it. Nothing is so black and white. Cancer Council also raises funds from sausage sizzles and cake bakes, and yet they promote healthy eating. I think if we criticise corporates so much for trying to contribute to charity (and yes, they might gain from it), this will promote a culture of fear and corporates are more wary of doing this in the future. The people who lose out will be the not-for-profits.

  65. James Brechney
    29 Aug 12
    3:51 pm

  66. If this was an added charity raise on a different product like Bread or Roses it’d be OK but last time I checked Daffodils are the symbol of Daffodil Day. A lot of people assume all profits from Daffodils would go to the Cancer Council. If they are taking $5 then they’re probably making more than $1 themselves.

  67. James Brechney
    29 Aug 12
    3:59 pm

  68. Anyone working in the advertising industry suggesting that this gentleman should lose his job over this needs to have a long hard look at themselves. Freedom of speech is so dead in this country. What’s wrong with having a discussion? Clearly Coles are not directly answering the question.

  69. Rob The Client
    29 Aug 12
    4:02 pm

  70. Before I get shot down, I was quoting the size of the Target US page (18M). The local page has 265K Likes. Still, I’m standing by the points I’ve raised.

  71. Gandalf
    29 Aug 12
    4:15 pm

  72. GOLUM: We get it, you’re the smartest, most business savvy, toughest guy on this thread. Maybe even in the world.

    I have a few questions for you, we can go one at a time.

    1. Would it be wrong for me to dress up like a charity worker and collect money for cancer research, and then keep all the money except $1?

    (Please note that if you answer “nobody would fall for that” you’re not answering the question)

    Would my (deceitful) behaviour IN THAT EXAMPLE be wrong?

  73. Emma
    29 Aug 12
    4:22 pm

  74. I smell bastards, not daffodils

  75. Grey
    29 Aug 12
    4:44 pm

  76. Golum, admit it. You work for Coles, don’t you? Or perhaps you’re a shareholder?

  77. Lolly
    29 Aug 12
    4:56 pm

  78. I’m with Golum on this one.

  79. Rex
    29 Aug 12
    5:07 pm

  80. Thanks for the anylysis Golum, but shouldn’t the question be, Should a charity fund a retail promotion?

  81. Jay L
    29 Aug 12
    5:24 pm

  82. Seriously, the amount of ignorant and misinformed comments on this thread is baffling. The fact that $1 from every daffodil goes to the Cancer Council is clearly stated on the POS at the flower stands in Coles stores. They haven’t put up their price and have clearly stated how much of the proceeds go to charity – that sounds like pretty ethical behaviour to me. Coles haven’t taken Cancer Council to the cleaners – they have deiced to help them more.

    Maybe if a few of the high and mighty people on this thread had bothered to investigate what they are commenting on, they wouldn’t be so upset that Coles are now doing more for charity.

    I hate to defend Coles like this but the thought of misguided people starting a witch hunt that ultimately hurts the non-profits is highly worrying.

  83. Carole Goldsmith
    29 Aug 12
    5:28 pm

  84. Appalling Coles, give all the proceeds of Daffodil day to the Cancer Council and don’t be so greedy. Tricking people to buy daffodils and only giving $1 or the $6 – Coles should be ashamed of itself. We will not shop there after that.

  85. Carole Goldsmith
    29 Aug 12
    5:30 pm

  86. Kelly, those backpackers work for one company which collects for many charities. Give to the charities directly, much safer for you and your credit card.

  87. JG
    29 Aug 12
    6:06 pm

  88. Just as well Coles don’t sell cigarettes … hang on … what was that, they do?

    To all those whiners who refuse to recognise a good deed (I’m in the a buck is better than nothing as long as you didn’t rack up the price club) how much of your ‘prof’it’ (i.e. your salary less living expenses) did you donate – I sure hope it was comparable to the ‘all of the $6′ school of thought.

    Maybe they should go steal the daffodils and say they were just piratint them so it’s OK.

  89. Shane Drew
    29 Aug 12
    6:13 pm

  90. The thing I find really amusing tho is that most people that complain about corporatism making a (small) profit by tugging the guilt strings of their clients are really saying that they will donate as long as they get something in return. It soothes their conscience that they have given to a cancer charity, but only if they get value back. It hasn’t occurred to them that if they want to spend $6 and have the Cancer Council get the full $6 then they should donate that amount directly to the charity. But that will never happen because these clowns don’t really want to donate $6, they rather spend $6 and get something for themselves, and let the charity get a pittance in the overall scheme of things. They are hypocrites in actuality.

  91. Shane Drew
    29 Aug 12
    6:17 pm

  92. I think we need to be realists here. Coles will donate something when a lot don’t. You’d have to be a little thick to think that coles would donate everything to the cancer council. Built into their price would be expenses for spoilage for a start. The markup wouldn’t be huge in the first place because they are competing with other stores charging similar prices, and NOT donating a cent to cancer.

  93. Cause Related
    29 Aug 12
    6:38 pm

  94. So many FMCG brands do this type of cause related marketing. I’m not a big fan of it but I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere soon. 20 cents here, a dollar there – if the retail price doesn’t change I don’t see a big issue. It also can help increase awareness of the particular cause.

  95. Scarlette
    29 Aug 12
    7:25 pm

  96. Agree with Golum … Maybe it’s about time Traffik Marketing got a HR department to manage these clowns.

  97. Rob
    29 Aug 12
    7:31 pm

  98. Seriously, this is scary shit……

    ……..for Coles who have had to respond and issue statements and engage with their charity partner to go into damage control, for ONE statement by ONE person on their facebook page, all for the crime of DONATING MONEY TO CHARITY.

    …….for the charity who is now at risk (along with more of them) of losing funds due to scared companies not wanting to offend ONE person out there who may or may not have a reasonable point to make

    …….for Traffik Marketing, and every employer who has an opinionated keyboard warrior on their books and who gets wrapped up in the writings/rantings of those people

    …….for AJ Tennant who now carries this digital skidmark in his undies for all time, to every job interview, potentially into the pitch meeting he may attend one day with Coles marketing team at a new employer etc. etc.

    …….and for Mumbrella who risks exhausting us all with this type of reporting, about ONE comment by ONE person on ONE website.

    Yay, social media.

  99. JR
    29 Aug 12
    7:44 pm

  100. There are many comments about Coles and what they are doing, but surely ‘The Cancer Council’ should be managing their business and brand to the benefit of the cause and also to ensure they get the best outcome? Perhaps a comment from them in response would add some substance to the discussion

  101. James
    29 Aug 12
    8:11 pm

  102. Coles.. McDonalds.. Brumby’s or any other big company you’d care to mention all do it. I wonder if it’s a department other than Marketing, that come up with these charity drives?… I thought not.

  103. Katrina
    29 Aug 12
    8:13 pm

  104. Ricki, Cancer Council are transparent with all their funds. A copy of the annual review can be found on the Cancer Council’s website. Very informative and reassuring.

  105. alison
    29 Aug 12
    9:07 pm

  106. wow. I agree with Jay L. Not many companies with charity connections give 100% of proceeds to the charity. In fact some don’t even give a set % of the price – they agree a round figure in the contract which allows them to market products with the logo. And what’s wrong with that – it’s win/win. Coles, for all their other faults, does not seem to be anything wrong here. And I neither work for Coles nor directly in advertising.

  107. Ricki
    29 Aug 12
    10:02 pm

  108. Katrina, I’ve read it (what made you think I hadn’t?). In fact I have delved into this category in detail.

    Transparent or not, I prefer to donate funds to the front lines of research and not to organisations that spend large chunks of donated money on marketing or ‘awareness’ campaigns.

  109. Ricki
    29 Aug 12
    10:12 pm

  110. Here’s an example. Why would you need to differentiate your ‘offer’ to the market to fight breast cancer? Because its not about that. Its about their brand, not cancer.

    http://mumbrella.com.au/cancer.....push-59819

    Like I said…no yellow, no pink. Give your money to the ACRF or the Garvan.

  111. Any
    30 Aug 12
    8:19 am

  112. They donate $1 of profit from an existing product they donated nothing from before. Why is this even a story?

    It’s not like they even jacked up the price by $1 to cover it.

    If you want the cancer council to get $6, donate that much to them directly, and don’t buy the flowers.

  113. Brentwallac
    30 Aug 12
    9:07 am

  114. I think the real question is how will Woolworths respond to this? $2 for every flower?

    Let’s get a few questions answered.

    Q1) Does Coles profit from the $6, or does the money go else where?

    Q2) Has the price actually increased to accommodate for the additional dollar?

    Q3) Are they leveraging their charity to entice shoppers to spend more in their stores, or is it merely an exercise in good will?

    Q4) Undoubtedly, Coles has impressive figures, but is that money donated by them directly (as in a slice out of their own profits), or is it their stores have run promotions whereby customers give money?

    Q5) How much does it cost to manufacture, deliver, design and create the Flower? What’s the supply chain here look like?

    Bonus Question – If $1 actually goes to Daffodil Day, then that must filter to the Cancer Council – in that case, where does -that- money actually go?

  115. Mike
    30 Aug 12
    9:57 am

  116. Well spotted and well said, AJ.
    You’ve started a tsunami that calls these Coles pin-heads (whose middle-management are mostly refugees from Tesco) to account.
    The same pin-heads who want to put customers to work for Coles, providing their labour in checking-out their goods so they can fire the checkout staff.
    The same pin-heads to respond with “we’re sorry you see it that way” – in other words, “we’re sorry our spin has failed to con you into believing we are community minded.”

    Coles, you are a bad citizen, and the people detest you. This morning there are 28,000 likes for AJ’s post. You can’t spin your way out of this one.

  117. Anonymous
    30 Aug 12
    11:40 am

  118. Don’t think the Clemenger Group would be happy with Traffik at the moment since their ATL agencies work with them.

  119. Jay L
    30 Aug 12
    12:58 pm

  120. Agree with Anonymous….the debate about Coles ethics aside, AJ’s public postings do his employers no favours.

    Given that a fair share of AJ’s clients at Traffik are in the Grocery channel they would be working closely with Coles and with grocery brands that regularly run this type of promotion. If AJ were working for me, I would have issued a formal warning if not fired him for this blunder as broadcasting this type of comment so publicly could impact my business and is in breach of most agency employment agreements.

    This reminds me of an instance a few years ago where Fergus Kibble of Hill & Knowlton tweeted a picture of a stack of yellow pages books and commented on what a waste of paper it was. Telstra, Fergus’s main client, who own Sensis (ie Yellow Pages) fired Hill and Knowlton that day as their PR agency because of the blunder.

    I would lose the Junior Copywriter before I would let it impact on my client relationships and the health of my agency. It was a silly thing for someone in this industry to post on a public page.

  121. Eyeroll Extraordinaire
    30 Aug 12
    2:41 pm

  122. I personally love how Golum most likely works in some capacity for Coles and that Golum has posted several times on this under different names.

  123. Lisa
    30 Aug 12
    3:20 pm

  124. Agree with Ricki. The Cancer Council annual report is not assuring. According to the recent report, for every dollar fundraised at the Cancer Council, 40 cents goes to expenses. And in the last financial year $17m have gone to fundraising expenses. I used to volunteer at the CCNSW, but I have seen how they handle contributions and sponsorships and am very disillusioned. In one instance, some of the raffle prizes were sourced from small businesses. However, in the end, they were just distributed among the volunteer committee as thank you payment. Small businesses are already struggling. Not ethical to get them to sponsor by telling them there will be increased exposure through the promotion of raffle, and then not live up to your word. And not impressed by how much the tens of thousands they have cost the Parra Council – not how I want my donations spent! Back to the daffodil – I am sure Cancer Council or any non-profit would prefer to have the money than nothing.
    Give directly to research!

  125. James Brechney
    30 Aug 12
    4:54 pm

  126. I spoke to Coles PR yesterday and they said I could email them some questions and they would answer them. This is what I sent:

    1. Are Coles profiting at all from their Daffodil sales that are being advertised as also raising funds for the Cancer Council?

    2. On average if a bunch of Daffodil flowers from Coles is $6 and $1 is being donated to the Cancer Council is the profit Coles receiving greater than $1?

    3. Do you think there is room for improvement from Coles on this issue around Daffodil sales given their affiliation with Daffodil Day?

    Instead of answering the questions directly they issued me a statement around 6pm last night (pasted below) This statement is a little different from the one they gave Mumbrella around midday. In fact, if they had issued the below statement to Mumbrella I wonder if this article would even exist.

    Are the two statements at odds with each other? At midday they spin that they’re raising a lot of money but don’t specifically rule out they they aren’t also profiting. By 6pm they’re saying that all proceeds will go to the Cancer Council. Is it a turn around or were they always doing this? I don’t know. I certainly think it was valid for AJ to raise it as a discussion point.

    Coles Spokesperson says, “Coles does not profit from Daffodil Day. If there are any proceeds after costs these will be donated to the Cancer Council and this is in addition to the customer donations generated from the sale of daffodils and Cancer Council merchandise. We believe that the way we have supported Daffodil Day over the last 16 years, helping to raise $12 million and keeping the vital helpline for those touched by cancer operating, has made a difference and we are proud of our team members and our customers for the support they have given.”

  127. Veg
    11 Sep 12
    7:46 pm

  128. Coles causes cancer by selling sugary drinks and processed foods which are high in sodium. I smell Ronald McDonald House all over this crap. Do me a dacoit Coles and die of cancer!