Friday, 27 July 2012

Pommy codgers flock Down Under to flog Coles and shore up their retirement funds

Rick Parfitt from Status Quo (centre) in Sydney two years ago
Really truly, I've had enough of these Pommy has-beens swarming Down Under like European wasps to promote one of two supermarket chains that has a stranglehold on food and grocery retail in this country. 

It started with English comedienne Dawn French, who shouted at us from the box like some pumped-up used-car salesman and lathered herself into a frenzy over the wonders of shopping at Coles. 

She should do a shop with me at my local Coles where, over the years, my favourite brands have, one-by-one, disappeared from the shelves to be replaced by Coles' own products.

Other brands jostle for shelf space - having paid premium price to Coles for the privilege - to be lumped next to a Coles item that is 50 cents or more cheaper.

The other sneaky thing Coles does is copy the packaging of like products, so the consumer might accidentally pick up the Coles product having mistaken it for the name-brand item. A good example of this is Gippsland Dairy yoghurt. The Coles yoghurt packaging is almost the same, right down to fonts and colours. 

And let's not forget what Coles did to Australian dairy farmers - by slashing the price of milk to under $3, it did its best to decimate independent milk producers.  

Having endured French's swinging uvula for months, viewers are now copping an eye and earful of withered Pommy rockers Status Quo, droning out their tired anthem Down Down with new lyrics courtesy of Coles. Down Down Prices are Down Down Down Prices are Down.

Instead of playing guitars, the band members furiously strum the red hand of pain - a Coles gimmick, which is a foam rubber hand with the index finger pointing downwards*.

When I was 16 I flung myself at the stage at the Hordern Pavilion, so desperate was I to touch Status Quo singer/guitarist Francis Rossi. I was THAT close to becoming a groupie. I adored his long black hair and dark Italian looks. 

Thank God I wasn't athletic enough. Now all I wanna do is throw myself at Rossi's scrawny old-man throat and wring it. Deadset. 

French and Status Quo must be making a pretty penny out of our suffering. Thing is, Australian consumers have little choice but to shop at either Coles or Woolworths. They have a duopoly on grocery products. 

I make a point of NOT buying meat, fruit and vegetables from Coles. I prefer to shop at Harris Farm or Norton St Grocer. I also buy brand-name products, look at where the products are manufactured and try to buy Australian whenever possible.

Obviously the lure of the Aussie dollar was too much for a bunch of dessicated Cockneys and an ageing comedienne (not funny, Dawn). What a shame they failed to research the company they're spruiking and allowed greed to prevail over a moral conscience.  

Who will Coles haul in next? Charles and Camilla raving about Coles brand tampons?

God save us all.           

*Last year when I was in Cleveland in Queensland I saw a teenage girl and her boyfriend with a toddler in a stroller. The toddler clung to a foam rubber Coles hand - maybe it was given to him at the store as part of a promotion. I watched as the boyfriend took the hand from the toddler and whacked him over the head with it. At first the toddler laughed so the boyfriend kept it up, but he seemed to be hitting harder and harder. The toddler started to cry; the boyfriend thought this was funny. The girlfriend - I assume she was the mother - didn't even notice what was going on. This is the image that comes to mind whenever I see the Coles red hand of pain. 

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