As featured in AdNews magazine, Watchdog is that mighty defender of consumers against BS marketing and advertising claims.
Watchdog stands up for gender equality in all battlegrounds - this week it happens to be the confectionery aisle at Coles.
Our intrepid Watchdog was recently in Coles and noticed that there were two varieties of Kinder Eggs. The regular one, and one labelled as a "girl's" Kinder Egg. However, Watchdog noticed that one was more expensive than the other.
If there's one thing Watchdog hates, it's retailers perpetuating gender disparity and disadvantage, however slight that may be in this case.
Here's what happened when we called Coles to find out more...
Watchdog: Hi, my name is [Watchdog gives a cunning alias], and I was on your website and noticed that there’s a difference in price between the Kinder Egg for boys, and KInder Egg for girls.
Watchdog: I’m on your website now and the 20g normal egg is $2.20 and the one labelled “New for girls” is $2.31. So my question is: why the price disparity?
Coles: I’ll pull that up now ... yes, I can see they’re the same weight.
Watchdog: Exactly! So I’m wondering why the girls’ is more expensive?
Coles: There’s no information that I can see, maybe it’s 11c more because of the bit of pink at the top of the egg?
Watchdog: You’re joking!
Coles: There’s no real disparity I can see between the two products from the information on the site. Maybe the pink one has a more intricate toy in it?
Watchdog: I mean, in this day and age, why is the pink one even labelled “for girls”?
Coles: I’m not sure ...
Watchdog: Is there an RRP on the eggs you can pull up?
Coles: There isn’t, but you’re quite right. I’m going to pass this on to the marketing team to see if we can get to the bottom of this. It may be that the manufacturer has charged us more for it, but I’m not sure ...
THE FINAL RECKONING
To be fair, the recommended retail price on Kinder Eggs is a little specific for a call centre operator to have information to hand about. But because we haven’t heard back from this supposed “marketing team”, we’ll go ahead and assume either Ferrero or Coles is actively entrenching gender gaps. Bad boys!
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