Australian supermarket giant Woolworths pulled a controversial Anzac Day campaign Tuesday evening after it drew sharp criticism and ended up being hijacked by social-media satirists.
Woolworths created a website that allowed people to upload images of people affected by war and attach the phrase “Lest We Forget, Anzac 1915–2015.” This was accompanied by the slogan “Fresh in Our Memories” and the Woolworths logo.
The use of the word fresh was none-too-subtle branding. Woolworths brands itself the Fresh Food People, and its regular consumer magazine is called Fresh.
For Australians, the ham-fisted marketing was too much, and Woolworths became the target of public backlash, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“We regret that our branding on the picture generator has caused offense, this was clearly never our intention. Like many heritage Australian companies, we were marking our respect for Anzac and our veterans,” a Woolworths spokesperson tells TIME.
The slogan was predictably hijacked by social media with the hashtag #FreshInOurMemories going viral and netizens contributing mocking posts.
Anzac Day is celebrated on April 25 in Australia and New Zealand and honors soldiers who died serving in the military. The remembrance day was created to recognize the sacrifices made during the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I, which began on April 25, 1915. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the infamous battle.
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