According to CHOICE, Mosaic Brands — the parent company behind Australian retail brands Rockmans, Katies, Millers, Rivers, Noni B, Beme, Autograph and Crossroads — have fuelled consumer anxiety with ads and email direct marketing calling for consumers to “stock up now before it’s gone” on face masks and hand sanitiser”.
“Australians expect more from major retailers at this time. Using pushy sales tactics to exploit anxiety about COVID-19 to encourage panic buying is not on. These are disgraceful marketing tactics”, says CHOICE consumer advocate Jonathan Brown.
CHOICE says it has found multiple examples of one well-known Australian brand using terms like:
“STOCK UP NOW BEFORE IT’S GONE”
“LIMITED STOCK - SHOP NOW”
“ORDER NOW! LIMITED STOCK”
“STOCK UP AND STAY SAFE”
“The Prime Minister has called for calm. We think this advice should apply to the business community too. We need all brands to be responsible and support the community to navigate these challenges, rather than cash in on fear,” Brown said, noting that CHOICE is closely monitoring business behaviour during the COVID-19 breakout.
“We're actively looking out for businesses that see this as an opportunity to take advantage of people who are worried – through misleading advertising, price gouging or shonky health claims.”
“This ‘panic marketing’ from Mosaic brands was identified by CHOICE members - they are our eyes and ears. We’re asking anyone who sees panic marketings, misleading claims or dodgy practices to report it at choice.community”.