This is just one instance of an American company trying to cash in on the good name Australia and its people have within the US. And it sucks.
As an Australian, I’m really disgusted by Procter & Gamble’s obvious attempt to mislead consumers by producing and promoting a range of haircare products as Australian.
What do you call an Aussie brand that's not Australian?
The brand is ‘Aussie’ – and you know what? It’s not. You can see the associated website here (of course, it’s using simply www.aussie.com).
You should know the following:
a. This brand does not exist in Australia.
b. This brand has no money going to Australia.
c. This brand, featuring the kangaroo on its logo, and the hyperbole saying it’s part of “the latest wave from down under” actually has NOTHING to do with Australia.
d. This is NOT an Australian product.
This is intentionally misleading by Procter & Gamble. The ad, which you can see on their website, uses an Australian woman’s voice-over to reinforce the message they have something to do with Australia.
It’s a total rip-off of the Australian image and brand.
Now, whether or not the product is any good is not my concern. I believe it is obviously unethical to present a product or brand as being something it’s not. In this case, the Australian brand and people are being used to sell a product which has nothing to do with them.
So I approached Procter & Gamble with my concerns. Here’s the (cut and pasted) email response:
Thank you for contacting Aussie. Aussie® was founded in 1979 by Tom Redmond who had over twenty years experience in the professional salon industry. Tom visited Australia and was inspired to develop Australian 3 Minute Miracle, an intensive conditioner that produced real results in only three minutes. 3 Minute Miracle is now a top selling conditioner with more than 45 million bottles sold. This was followed by Sprunch Spray, Instant Freeze Hair Spray, and a complete line of hair care and styling products.
While Aussie products are not made in Australia, many of the beneficial ingredients come from Australia.
We hope we’ve been helpful. If we can assist you in the future, please let us know.
The Consumer Relations Team
Mail sent to this address cannot be answered.
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This is a company that really needs to learn a few lessons in social media and customer service. Not only is the response comprised mainly of PR crap that NOBODY would have wanted to read, and that wasn’t relevant, it was deliberately vague and even said “mail to this address cannot be answered.” P&G is such a big company, it doesn’t want to actually converse with anyone. Pfft. Oh, they’re into Social Media – they have a Facebook Fan Page for Aussie. You can access it here. I’m going to leave a little message for them on it… I invite you to do the same.
But back to their response…I was obviously particularly interested in the claim that “many of the beneficial ingredients come from Australia.” I looked on the bottles of Aussie products in the supermarket. Nothing is listed as being from Australia. The product is completely made and produced in the USA, according to the bottles.
So I sent them another email, asking them what ingredients come from Australia and that I wanted to get it right because I was going to be blogging about this. Two weeks later, I’m still waiting for a response.
Now, I’m not expecting my American friends to be too upset over this. After all, it’s not your brand that’s being used to sell something. But I wonder how a company can get away with this shameless lying unethical behaviour?
I’m contacting the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about P&G’s sham and will let you know what eventuates.