Last week, Australian agency Carrspace launched a social media campaign that urged people to upload images of war veterans that would then have "Lest We Forget ANZAC 1915-2015. Fresh In Our Memories
Woolworths." ANZAC Day occurs on April 25 and is a national day of remembrance for both Australian and New Zealand commemorating those who served in wars together from both countries.
Woolworth's is a food store.
Things quickly got out of hand with people uploading images of Hitler, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin
Rudd and others. There was even a Hitler Downfall video made. According to the Protection of Word ANZAC Act of 1920, any company wishing to use the word in marketing must obtain permission from the
Department of Veteran Affairs. Woolworth's did not seek permission.
No one took kindly to Woolworth's leveraging such a cherished day for their own marketing gain. All hell broke loose.
While the agency claims it didn't take down its Web site (it claims it went down due to increased traffic), the agency did close down its Twitter account.
Explaining the move,
Carrspace Director Madeleine Preece said: “We respect the court of public opinion about our work, we value feedback, but we don’t respect trolls or abusive and offensive language being
used towards our staff. We never removed our website. We deactivated the Twitter account due to trolling and vulgar and abusive tweets that were affecting the team.” The Twitter page is now
The agency, of course, never meant to get itself or its client, Woolworth's, into this position. A statement on the Woolworth's
Facebook page read, in part: “We regret that our branding on the picture generator has caused offense,
this was clearly never our intention.”
Then again, the agency should have done what we've all been told since childhood. Think before you speak/act