Thursday, July 28, 2016

Woolworths and advertising

Woolworths has introduced a pro Indigenous person staff policy, so don't be surprised if your check out chick/chap is an Australian Aborigine.

No, no, not one like this. God forbid. You'll catch diabetes from her (fingers crossed she is dead and has no relatives).


The more acceptable types, you know, a bit more white looking.



Ok, I am, as we say in Australia, having a go. Woolworths is probably doing a very good thing and should be applauded.

Non Anlgo Saxon looks in advertising in an interesting subject. I have noted of late that we now see Asian people in ads on Australian tv, mind, not too Asian looking, but obviously Asian. So no, you won't see a badly dressed Chinese mainland person in our tv ads, but you will see a successful Asian family living the dream, such as it is, of being high achievers and being just like successful white people. How good is that!

Our private schools just love the Asian/Indian heritage Aussie parent dollars, almost as much as they like minimum wage earning taxpayer's dollars. They put up billboards to attract new students and empire build, which they are doing extremely successfully. Did I read Wesley College has opened a Spencer Street campus? Oh, I missed this one, from the Sydney Morning Herald.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/wesley-college-wont-hand-over-names-of-students-to-sydney-university-20160513-goukip.html

The billboards will always have a photo of a white student, but there must also be an Asian looking student and or an Indian looking student too, mind, not too Asian. Eyes have to be wide. Not too Indian, not too dark. Good lord, before you know it, they will putting up pictures of face covered female students with only their eyes showing.

Never underestimate the advertising gods. They know what they are doing. A little of the white person magic will rub off onto the children of these aspirational immigrants and they may almost be seen as an equal to whites in adult lives, depending on how useful seeing them as an equal by white people may be. Treat our Asian and Indian heritage folk well. They may well be dishing out your pension and paying their taxes to give you your pension.

Note to you foreign type readers: In Australia, Asian does not include Indians, Sri Lankans etc. We say Indians when referring to people from the sub continent. We divide the world's continents a little differently.

Later edit: Of course you cannot catch diabetes and this was written with provocation in mind and a great deal of cynicism.

34 comments:

  1. Andrew, I am not sure what this "white person magic" is, to which you refer. In my experience Asian students and students from the subcontinent are very driven, their families have high expectations of them and they work very hard. Much harder than the "lazy white kids" in my classroom. Of course I am drawing upon stereotypes based on race. In fact, I think work ethic has more a cultural determinant, and regardless of race, there are some students who know nothing other than multiple generations of unemployment and welfare.

    I would hope your other readers realise that one cannot "catch diabetes" from someone, particularly from our indigenous people.

    I wouldn't applaud Woolworths for anything myself until they offload their interests in pokie machines.

    My apologies if my comments come across as a bit terse, but I think my experience of indigenous people might be different to yours in Melbourne, just as mine would be different to someone else's experience in NT or Central Australia.

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  2. Carol, Melburnians and probably people from other southern capitals are quite unqualified to offer any sort of meaningful comment on Aborigine as we have no contact with them. We just don't have experience with our Indigenous. We just tut tut at a bad news story and suggest someone should do something.

    My blog readers are of a certain age and will know about diabetes, nevertheless, I have added a later edit, should someone stumble across this and take it the wrong way.

    I did not research the Woolworths scheme, only pointing out the impression their advertising is designed create.

    The white person magic is the impression advertisers are trying to create. Spend $10,000 and more a year on your child's education and they will be successfully integrated into the high flying elite of Australia and have the metaphorical Old Boys'Network to call upon in the future. Without doubt the children of many immigrants work very hard at school and deserve to succeed. I have politely suggested to foreign born workmates who have children in private schools that they might be pushing them too hard and their children should be allowed to have fun too, well one at least. As you probably know, I am not a great fan of publicly funded private education, but that horse has well and truly bolted now. Thanks for your contribution. You are probably the most qualified person to comment.

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  3. Andrew, yes the old boys network private education will always win out. I have had my own experience of that this week.

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    1. At the coal face Carol, so to speak.

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  4. I would hope that some of the 'aspirational immigrant' magic might rub off on some of the 'white' people. There are far too many no-hoper dole bludging white Australians who teach their children likewise.
    I've seen thos Woolworths ads and been reminded of the days I worked for Coles and we had checkout girls from Africa and Sri Lanka.

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    1. River, there has been a huge change of what was traditionally a job for 'white' people. Ours are now mostly from India and Sri Lanka. I wonder what happened to those displaced workers. Retired?

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  5. I've had some experience with Aboriginals, as a checkout chook I processed their groceries just the same as I did everyone else's, they were quiet and polite, many had a cheque or voucher to pay for their food, all were trying to make a better life for their kids who were now going to school after coming in from the outback.
    And of course when growing up in Port Pirie I played on the beach there with Aboriginal children.

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    1. River, yes there is a much stronger connection to Aboriginal people in South Australia than here, and that is a good thing. Perhaps southern Victoria and Tasmania have the least connection.

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  6. And don't get me started on the person with disabilities caper. We are invisible. Or should be.
    And have nothing to offer anyone. Users, all of us.
    Which is no truer than any of the rest of the spin.

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    1. EC, aside from R having worked with disabled adults for twenty years, disabled people seem to be very conscience at their work. I had brilliantly competent service from a disabled person when I bought my last phone. He really knew his phones and knew how to serve efficiently, unlike at other phone shops I had been at.

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  7. Anonymous8:23 am

    I am one of your readers of a certain age (how kind) and I knew what you were getting at, but thousands wouldn't. They are usually humourless and spend hours on social media being outraged (it must be exhausting for the poor dears) and demanding people be hung, drawn and quartered. My contribution - maybe billboard images should be in black and white, then you can't tell how dark they are. As for Woolies, I'm surprised they employ any check out chicks/chaps/chooks - I thought they would have replaced them all with their bossy self checkout machines by now (which I refuse to use, being of a certain age and trying to keep staff employed.) - Ian

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    1. Ian, perhaps I do go too far at times, but I think I do make a point. You will switch over to self checkouts when the queues at staffed checkouts become intolerably long. But self checkouts are not practical if you have a lot of shopping. Black and white billboards...could work.

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    2. Self checkouts with a trolley load are easy enough once you know what you are doing. In the beginning there was a problem with the bagging area, with each item placed in the bag the weight was recorded, when the bag was full and you wanted to switch to an empty one, there would be a pop up window telling you a problem had arisen and you should wait for assistance, this was at Coles, I don't know about early Woolies self checkouts. I do know I prefer them because for me, it's quicker, but if I'm broke and raid the piggy bank to pay with only coins, I'll go to a regular checkout, so I don't jam the machines at the selfies.

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    3. River, at the supermarkets we visit, there are still adequate check staff. Yes, you can put through a weekly shop at selfies, but it is easier at a proper check out. I forget which of the two supermarkets turned off the weighing mechanism, but one did. The selfies are rather slow at recognising money.

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    4. Woolies turned it off. I can now scan my items and pack them straight into my granny trolley. No double handling.

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  8. Good for Ian, saying the same thing I have been saying especially since one of the check out girls told me it cost more for those machines than wages for the girls. I like to talk to a person and I will stand in line but there is the problem of me breaking the self serve machines, up to 3 at the moment. I can't help it, machines hate me.

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    1. Jah Teh, do not take a rest and sit on the self checkouts, and all should be well. Over the longer term, self checkouts will be cheaper. Don't forget to double a person's wage for their entitlements etc.

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  9. I'm not picking Woolies, thanks Woolies for making that your new tagline, but we broke up some time ago and I'm done with you. I can't even remember why we broke up, but I do remember I blogged about it.

    And thanks Woolies, for being the "fresh food people" in this country for as long as I can remember, and only just now introducing this pro-first peoples policy. I'm sure they will deeply appreciate it. But I do not believe they will pick you, because Coles is doing such a better job than you are plus they actually give us rewards for shopping there, and we have Aldi doing an even better job, minus the rewards but then there is the huge reward of doing a fortnights shopping and having it cost $130 instead of $290!

    The picking thing REALLY bugs, by the way. I don't know who sold it to you, Woolies, but sack them instantly.

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    1. Snoskred, I remember that but like you, I had to refresh my memory with the link to your post below. While we do shop mostly at Coles, I actually prefer Woolies as they stock older things that Coles no longer stocks. My Mum's local IGA is great, formerly, Ritchies, SSW, Nancarrows, etc etc.

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  10. Ah, found the breaking up post, I am glad I write about these things because I had forgotten!

    http://www.snoskred.org/2015/08/woolworths-were-breaking-up.html

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  11. When one of my sons went to Melbourne Boys High (a selective school), the best, brightest and hardest working lads were the Vietnamese and Indian students. I hope some of their hard work rubbed off onto my son.

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    1. Well Hels, depending which son, but the one who made a guest post on your blog seems to be doing ok. Those kids are pushed so hard by their parents but I think also some of it comes from within them. If you are talking about Asian tiger mothers, none are as strong as Vietnamese mothers.

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  12. My father's brother was the director of Woolworth in Frankfurt/Germany, but that is ages ago ! There is no Woolworth in Europe anymore to my knowledge since a long time. For me Australians, Canadians and Americans are all (white) immigrants ! The real once are the native Americans or Canadians, and the Aborigines. That's what I learned at school. The white once were mostly criminals (in Australia, lol !) Did your great great great great grandma steel an apple ?

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    1. Gattina, the Australian Woolworths has no connection to the former European Woolworths, or the British one. I think it is now South African owned.

      I am a bit Scandinavian, a bit English but most Scottish, Italians who live in Switzerland, and French protestants fur traders who fled to England. Convicts mostly went to Sydney and Hobart. Our Aborigines have been here for half a million years, but they too came from somewhere. In my opinion, they have a strong connection to India.

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  13. Our movies and adds don't really reflect our multi cultural society.

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    1. Diane, no they don't. Movie makers and advertisers know how to target the most profitable markets, and they do. Bit unfortunate, but a realism.

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  14. You are so provocative Andrew :) I'm going to be watching adverts much more closely now, I have this ability to completely switch off when the ads come on but will now have to confirm your observations!

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    1. Grace, I too usually switch off when ads are on, usually during the news. Commercial tv otherwise must be recorded so the ads can be zapped. It is worth putting a bit of analytical thought into ads.

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  15. I watched a program on a new US channel called VICE. Well, it's not quite the image that the word vice conjures up. A documentary was running about Aborginal people and how unhealthy a "modern" lifestyle and diet can be to them. A woman, similar to your picture but not as heavy, said "sugar is killing us". The program showed the Aborginals returning to their traditional diet. They had captured a large lizard and cooked it over hot coals all night. I can't get what she said out of my mind, "sugar is killing us".

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    1. Carlnepa, maybe it was a goanna they cooked. The woman spoke the truth. Forget about fats, it is sugar that is killing us. Asian diabetes has increased exponentially since they started quenching their thirst with Coke.

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    2. Carlnepa, maybe it was a goanna they cooked. The woman spoke the truth. Forget about fats, it is sugar that is killing us. Asian diabetes has increased exponentially since they started quenching their thirst with Coke.

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  16. Your sarcasm is going strong today, loud and clear. Same sorts of issues go back and forth here, the white dream, especially the white male sporty dream....we all must aspire to.....

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    1. I understand, Strayer. Thankfully cheerleader culture never caught on here.

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    2. I understand, Strayer. Thankfully cheerleader culture never caught on here.

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