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Why Woolies regrets billboard doughnut ad

Woolworths’ doughnut billboard on the Warrego Hwy at Minden has raised hackles with the health-conscious.
Woolworths’ doughnut billboard on the Warrego Hwy at Minden has raised hackles with the health-conscious. Rob Williams

A SUPERMARKET giant has promised to take down a billboard promoting "fresh food" doughnuts after it triggered an internet furore.

The billboard raised the ire of Facebook user Jason Maloo when he spotted it while driving east-bound on the Warrego Highway near Minden.

Mr Maloo, who said he was a doctor, posted the image on Facebook and within hours it had attracted more than 5000 likes.

Mr Maloo said he was incensed that doughnuts were being described as "fresh food" to consumers in Ipswich, which has one of the highest obesity rates in the country.

Woolworths said the billboard would be removed.

However, the ad remained in place late Tuesday afternoon.

A Woolworths spokesman admitted the ad could provide some confusion.

"While our intention was to show one of the products that we bake fresh everyday at our in-store bakeries, we appreciate that this may have been confusing for some," the spokesperson said.

"We value the feedback of our Ipswich customers and have always appreciated their support."

The sign and the public outcry against it were noted by Cr Andrew Antoniolli and health officials.

Cr Antoniolli said the choice of a doughnut was odd considering the company's logo incorporated an apple.

"We have programs promoting a happy and healthy Ipswich supported by council and the Federal Government to promote healthy living choices," he said.

"What would have looked better is a fresh piece of fruit."

Queensland's chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young congratulated the thousands of people who reacted to the advertisement.

"People are bombarded daily with marketing of energy-dense and nutrient-poor foods everywhere they turn," she said.

"Marketing a doughnut as a fresh food choice is simply wrong and it is no wonder that people are confused about what is good for them and what isn't."

Ipswich was chosen as the home of the first Ministry of Food health-eating project by UK chef Jamie Oliver because of its poor obesity record.

Topics:  advertisement, billboard, editors picks, woolworths



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