ABC lawyers have contacted Woolworths after it was found to be using the broadcaster’s Adelaide HQ as advertising space.
Supermarket chain Woolworths may have bitten off more than it can chew by projecting an ad onto the side of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) headquarters in Adelaide.
The advert, which promoted one of Woolworths’ ‘show stopper specials’ on a packet of Doritos, was being projected onto the wall by two men in the back of a van when a local walked passed and snapped a photo. The events took place on Sunday evening and the image has since found its way to the ABC.
Wednesday evening, ABC radio Host Michael Smyth tweeted about the incident, saying that ABC’s lawyers were now engaged in communicating with Woolworths.
The story has begun to get traction via social media as consumers have begun to question if the supermarket giant is taking its marketing strategy too far.
However, according to News.com.au, a spokesman for Woolworths has tried to excuse the ad, stating that the ABC would not have been aware of the campaign.
“Woolworths has engaged in a short-term guerrilla advertising campaign to highlight our Show Stopper Specials. Owners and tenant of buildings on which the projections were displayed would not have been aware that they were going to be used.”
The very fact that Woolworths admits to having planned the campaign without the knowledge of the tenants and owners of the buildings it’s used to execute the initiative may be enough to land it in hot water.
The local council has also stated it was not notified about the ad.
“The commencement of an advertising display of this size would typically require development approval (regardless of its temporary nature), and no approval has been sought,” said Nathan Cunningham, City of Prospect’s Director of Community, Planning and Communications.
“The unauthorised display of a large and prominent third party advertisement on the ABC building is clearly of concern.”
In the broad scheme of things, displaying a projected image on a building wall doesn’t seem like a cardinal error, and the fallout may simply equate to more conversations about Woolworths around the water cooler; but if this is a sign of things to come then there’s good reason for the ABC and the local council to want to nip it in the bud. If they don’t, the success of this stunt could easily spark an escalating guerrilla marketing war.