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Samsung, Westpac and Coles win 2017 Shonky Award prizes

Samsung, Coles and Westpac have won prizes at the 12th annual Choice Shonky Awards held today in Sydney, with the bank’s 200th anniversary Baby Bump campaign receiving particularly harsh criticism from the judges.

The Shonky awards “name and shame” the “shonkiest” Australian products and companies of the year, calling out unreliable and dishonest campaigns, products and brands.

A Samsung washer/dryer won the top award, with judges describing the company’s WD16J9845KG appliance as a ‘$2,999 waste of time and water’ for taking 6.5 hours to complete a cycle and using 149 litres of “fresh drinking water”.

Westpac also won an award for ‘targeting the unborn with a bad deal’ with its Westpac Bump Savings Account.

“With a poor 2.30% interest rate, customers need to wait 16 years before they can cash in on the $200 bonus on the Westpac’s Bump Savings account which recruits customers before they are even born. If that wasn’t bad enough, by investing in this Westpac account until the “bonus” kicks in and not taking advantage of the best rate in the market, you’ll be left $5,000 worse off.2 Killer clowns, monsters under your bed and now being signed up to a bad deal before birth – Westpac gets a Shonky for this downright creepy, poor-value bank account,” the Shonky Awards said.

Adrian McCaffrey, head of brand and marketing at Westpac Group, said at Mumbrella’s Finance Marketing Summit earlier this year the baby bump bonus was a cornerstone of the banks 200th Birthday celebrations.

Coles Complete Cuisine also bagged an award for “incomplete cat food”.

“The tinned treat is decidedly incomplete when it comes to nutritional value, as stated in small font on the back of can,” the Shonky Awards noticed.

Takata Airbags and Honda, Toyota, Lexus, BMW and Mazda were awarded for “repeatedly failing to disclose a safety device that could actually kill you”.

The recall Takata Airbags affected 100 million cars from different brands, giving those brands “ultimate Shonky status”.

Choice Chief Executive, Alan Kirkland, said in a statement: “Whether it’s for targeting the unborn with a poor value savings account, financially exploiting those in pain or chipping away at kids’ teeth with dodgy vitamin products, this year’s winners deserve their awards.

“Unfortunately each year the Awards go from strength to strength as companies continue to serve up poor value, hidden charges and questionable claims. Sadly, it looks like we’ll be back again in 2018.”

Other brands highlighted were Cuddly Sensitive Hypoallergenic fabric softener (For performing worse than water while costing 3000 times more), Pain Erazor pen (For being unlikely to erase anything except your hard-earned cash), Vita Gummies (For rotting children’s teeth) and Viagogo (For ripping you off with dodgy practices).

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