Woolworths refuses to caption its ads

Monday, 16 July 2012 18:05pm

Following an investigation by B&T magazine which found that many major Australian brands are not captioning their TV commercials, Coles has commenced captioning with its latest commercial, but Woolworths has announced that it has “no immediate plans” to introduce captioning.

B&T’s investigation named 30 companies which don’t caption their ads, including Coles, Woolworths, Foxtel, Budget, Westfield, Subway, McCain and Hungry Jack’s. Since the investigation was published on 9 July, Westfield, Hungry Jack’s and Coles have announced they will be captioning in the future. The first Coles ad to be captioned, featuring the rock group Status Quo, went to air on 11 July.

In a follow-up article, B&T’s Alex Hayes noted that Woolworths profit in the first half of last financial year was nearly $1 billion.  “The cost of captioning a 60-second ad is $300, while around three million people in Australia suffer from hearing loss.”

Deaf advocate Michael Lockrey applauded the move by Coles, and criticised Woolworths for not following suit. “I'm quite surprised by this as both Woolworths and Coles compete so hard on nearly everything else, why not on accessibility and inclusion issues too?

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