Thursday, July 23, 2009

╠ Because it all counts ╣

In my catching up on TV I came across a set of coles ads advertising that 'it all counts' and detailing the ways in which you save money with them. There is one of these I would like to draw your attention to and it goes like this.

You shouldn't be taxed for being a woman, so Coles is paying the GST on all feminine hygiene products for you.

I'm not sure about all of you female types out there but is 11% off a tampon a real winner for you? Is it a deciding factor in where you shop? Do you feel particularly cared for? As far as I have heard feminine hygiene isn't something you really talk about too much so a big conglomerate saying they care isn't something I see as really convincing.

Now also the other problem is as a male I feel completely ignored by this campaign. Granted us males don't really need anything like this on a monthly basis. However the point is that sales work by being sustained by full price purchases. So as a male our purchases are funding something with which we receive no value unless we are particularly whipped by our significant others.

So I just have to question this particular idea, alienating half of the population for a relatively ineffective minor price cut. What are your thoughts?


Wolfie! said...

Dunny paper is more of an equal-opportunity product,

Anonymous said...

Just to be painful and pedantic, it's not 11% off, it's 1/11th off. And it would be much more appealing if applied to chocolates.

Anonymous said...

That ad is rubbish.
1) No one is being taxed for 'being a woman' ... people are being taxed for buying products. Surely then Coles should pay the GST on all products purchased by women in order to make good on their offer.

2) The GST is not being paid by Coles. Are they changing their accounting system to reflect this? How does it appear on the docket?Really they are discounting the products by an amount equal to the GST. But why is it OK to expect that people don't understand the difference ... and be allowed to promote it in this way.

3) Is promoting a discount which applies only to one gender a breach of anti-discrimination laws (and in all likelihood advertising and Coles' own code of conduct policy). Sure they can offer any discount they like - but to promote it using gender? ... Imagine if the promotion was based on race or religion.

Kat said...

As a woman, coles new campaign has actually made me decide to buy all of my sanitary products from their stores. It's not that I'm that worried about saving "1/11%" on already quite cheap items, it's the principle. I've always found it plain stupidity that sanitary items aren't considered a "necessity" and I hope that Cole's latest campaign may inspire other stores to do the same and eventually make these items GST free

Tannie said...

@Anon1:Ah yes sorry forgot the 1/11. I clearly wasn't thinking and just put in the percent.

@Wolfie: True that, however it wouldn't have the same stimuli attached

@Anon 2: Good points. You're reflecting my point exactly and bolstering the arguments. Thanks for backing up my view and you have some really good points there.

@Kat: I think I'm starting to see that this may be one of those split things. Whilst males can comment on it as we are not targeted we do not see it the same way.

After posting this I learned that it was more the necessity debate so it is the principle as you say. It's hard to tell if there are any females who share my viewpoint as others are not as forward with their gender...however I think the point is it's effective where it was targeted. So to a degree it works...

However I do believe there still stands issues with the point raised by anon of discrimination that may exist.

Lili said...

@ Kat

Yeah I had a big long discussion about this post with him, and you've just backed me up, with that post. =P

It's not about the method, how it technically doesn't work, the discount, or any of that stuff. It's all about the principle. And it's the principle that is meant to get the target audience. Sure it could be more neutral, like "We'll take the GST of toilet paper!" but there's no point in that; it doesn't hit anything. This, however, has been a long debate since the whole GST thing started, and the principle will hit a lot of women emotionally on some level, in my opinion. They're probably a soul-less identity who don't actually give a crap, but through their campaign, saying they care/understand, and using such a strong "example," quite We feel like they care, even if they don't... only because they "understand." Not all women will be hit, though, I suppose. Some will be skeptical, I suppose. But in this economy where everyone wants to be saving every cent they can, and it's in reference to a product that is constantly purchased regardless it is definitely an appeal.

My two cents, at least.

VLC said...

I have to agree with Kat on this one. Working at Coles and being a female i have had several conversations with girls of all ages and all seem to be very impressed with the idea. It is the principle as lili said. Both the staff and the customers seem to think that coles is now forward thinking and is the good guy...

Though my mum did bring up a good point. Males HAVE to shave why should they be taxed for a a neccesity as well?

lesley said...

I saw the poster in my local Coles today. I'm a woman, but to be honest I'm not sure if I agree with the concept or not. There may be a principle involved, but at the end of the day it's a marketing exercise. Coles wants me to shop with them. I probably won't - on principle.

Coldshrike said...

I think the issue isn't so much about whether it's a good idea as about fair play. Everytime I see these adds I get that same reaction as Tannie. Sure, you shouldn't be taxed on 'feminin' hygene, but how is that different to any other type? As VLC said, we HAVE to shave, but we still pay for that. Everybody has to wash, brush their teeth, and it's something of a public service to wear deoderant, so

Lili said...


Well some men grow beards.. and some men are cursed/blessed with non-growing facial hair. Some use electrical shavers.

Not sure what else women would do. They don't have electrical menstrual fluid collectors. And doing nothing creates a mess which many will find just out of taste, and rude.

As mentioned before, yes, Coles could have done it with something that would apply to everyone like toothpaste, but it wouldn't hit. How many normal people have actively thought, "PAYING GST FOR TOOTHPASTE IS STUPID" unless triggered? Whereas the argument about about GST-ing "down there female hygiene" products has actually been an active debate for a few years, coming up here and there, now and then. By targeting this one specific product/principle, they say "we know what you're on about!" and get some reactions of "OMG FINALLY SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS!" and actually get somewhere... instead of targeting something random and getting replies like "hur, wha? Never thought of that. Suppose it's cool, though...?"

But of course yes, it won't get to all females. Most will understand it is a branding scheme, and ignore it; but it does attract attention either way.

I myself don't shop at Coles, so it clearly hasn't moved me to purchase them from Coles; but it did attract my attention and make me think, "Oh, they understand the many women who actually care about this! Wow." I don't think it's meant to shift large hordes of women into shopping at Coles; it's simply building up reputation. It's branding.