1. Introduction The dispute started in December 2010 when Frankies submitted a complaint to the ASA (The advertising standards authority) that Woolworths committed plagiarism towards Frankie’s products. Frankies had all the right to protect their products to the fullest of their potential. 2. Main body 3. 1. Who is Frankie’s: Frankies is a small family business established in 2006 on a small farm in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal. They are believed to be widely acknowledged for their creative products and retro packaging.
Frankies products are known for the vintage-inspired woman that appears in different outfits and poses on every bottle. They are known by their GOOD OLD FASHIONED slogan that they use in their advertisements. Clear Cream Soda, Cloudy Lemonade, Cinnamon Cola and Root Beer are all representing flavours of Frankies. Frankies products have always been the same. 3. 2. Who is Woolworths: Woolworths is a large company. They are known worldwide for their organic products and the quality of the products they produce. They have used the nostalgic or vintage design concept for a couple of years in a variety of products.
Their labels and typography stay consistent with all their products. They believe that their beverages are unique and vintage. 3. 3. Cause: Frankies wanted Woolworths to sell their beverages, but unfortunately they could not meet the expectations that were required for the high level meeting with Woolworths. November 2011 Woolworths introduced their new range of beverages to stores around the country that was near identical to Frankies products. several unique flavours, for example cinnamon cola and fiery ginger beer, were directly and blatantly copied by Woolworths.
They originally started with the product so they had all the right to defend it. Mike Schmidt, owner of Frankies, was very unhappy with this and lodged a complaint before the ASA. 3. 4. Effect: The labelling of Woolworths new products was very similar to Frankies which made it seem like Woolworths tried to copy Frankies. As a result Woolworth’s new beverages have been mistaken for Frankies products by regular Frankies consumers. Woolworths said that the names of the flavours have been used widely for decades, although Frankies products are the only products that are known by these names.
Therefore it appears that Woolworths was only looking for an excuse for copying Frankies products. Frankies did not deserve to be treated this way just because they are a small business. 3. 5. Positive aspects: Frankies had every right to be upset with Woolworths sins the products was near identical to each other. The fact that Frankies complained to the ASA instead of suing Woolworths shows that Frankies is a respectable business and should be treated as such. Woolworths should actually be thanking Frankies for not taking further action.
The way the ASA handled it shows that any small business that is being pushed around by a large company would always have somebody willing to listen and help them. 3. 6. Negative aspects: Although the manufacturer that sells products in Woolworths packaging was fully aware of Frankies label. Their desire was to make use of identical bottles, ‘50s-inspired candy-stripped graphics and the strapline “Old Fashioned Soft Drink”. All of these were part of Frankies original and unique design. Woolworths stated that it was their own idea but everything points in the direction of them copying their idea from Frankies. . 7. Sequence of Events: Finally Woolworths was required to withdraw the packaging in its current form. After that Woolworths withdrew their product altogether because of the widespread press coverage that could give them a bad name. Frankies was right all along and handled the situation in the best way possible considering the circumstances that Woolworths forced upon them. Woolworths had no right to take advantage of Frankies. 3. 8. Extension: GOOD OLD FASHIONED SOFT DRINKS is a slogan that has been used before but Frankies made it known to people in their advertisements.
Woolworths was fully aware of the slogan used in their advertisements thus they had no right to use it as their own. Woolworths could just come to terms with Frankies to sell their products but they declined them and tried to copy Frankies instead. 3. Conclusion Small businesses like Frankies often get “bullied” by large companies such as Woolworths. Here we see that small businesses should not settle for less than they deserve, because the war could be won. Frankies stood their ground and proved to the world that small businesses have got their own rights and should be respected.