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Woolies respond to allegations

Woolworths have issued an official response to the allegations that they stole a concept from Frankies Soft Drinks.

20 Dec 2011

Earlier today we posted an article about the allegations that Woolworths SA stole a concept from Frankies Soft Drinks.

The respone from to Zyda Rylands, Woolworths MD of Food:

"We believe that the allegations made against Woolworths are unfounded. We have not infringed any copyright, intellectual property nor registered trade mark. We have also not been contacted by the ASA or any other appropriate authority about these allegations.

Old fashioned drinks are not a new concept. Flavours such as cream soda, ginger beer and cola are used by a number of soft drink manufacturers and no one company owns the rights to these flavours, and therefore the use of these names. The names of these flavours have also been used widely for decades.

Design concept
We have used the nostalgic or vintage design concept for many years in a range of products including our confectionary products like fudge. Our designs were inspired by a retro feel which is a growing trend internationally in retail. We were also inspired by Woolworths products from the mid-20th century.

As with all Woolworths products, our labels and typography is consistent with Woolworths brand identity. Further, the shape of our bottle is different. We do not believe that Woolworths range resembles Frankie's soft drinks.

Local supply
Woolworths vintage range of soft drinks are produced with local entrepreneurs. We respect the rights of any business, including small business.”

Editor’s note:
To clarify the meeting substance issue raised by some:
Woolworths meets with local and international suppliers on an ongoing basis. Frankies did request an introductory meeting with Woolworths to present their products for listing with Woolworths. One of Woolworths buyers met Frankies. However as is typical with introductory pitches, it was a very high level meeting and no intellectual property was discussed.


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