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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Suppliers cry foul on Devondale advertising

A recently released advertising campaign launched by dairy giant, Murray Goulburn, has upset suppliers.

GEOFF ADAMS November 13, 2012 4:01am

Brooke Somerville from Timmering has been angered by the way dairy farmers are portrayed in the advertising.


Murray-Goulburn Co-operative is being castigated by its suppliers over a new television advertising campaign which some farmers think makes them look ‘‘simple’’ and ‘‘dull’’.

The company is facing a revolt from their shareholders over the advertising campaign designed to relaunch its key Devondale name.

Annoyed suppliers have been complaining to directors, talking to the media and writing on social media about their feelings.

Even Murray Goulburn’s own Devondale Facebook page has been used by farmers to send a message to the company.

The ads, intended to be humorous, feature two overall-wearing characters, ‘‘Dev’’ and ‘‘Dale’’ who are pictured in a retro cottage making remarks about the product.

Timmering farmer and Murray Goulburn supplier, Brooke Somerville, said she was disappointed, angry and embarrassed when she first saw the advertisements.

‘‘As a young farmer I was very disappointed and offended,’’ the 24-year-old said.

Ms Somerville, who also works in photography and design, said she felt young farmers were not being taken seriously.

‘‘The old style of being portrayed as delinquent has been done to death.

‘‘I wonder how they would like being portrayed in a similar light,’’ Ms Somerville said of the marketing company.

She said the quality of the Devondale product and the professionalism of the industry did not deserve the treatment it got.

‘‘They are portraying us as delinquents making this product,’’ she said.

‘‘The Australian dairy industry makes a multi-million dollar contribution to Australia’s economy and we would like to be taken seriously.’’

She said the younger farmer in the advertisement comes across as mute and simple.

A spokesperson said the company had received several comments about the farmer image.

‘‘The Dev and Dale television commercials have been carefully designed to achieve consumer cut-through to drive brand recognition and sales volume,’’ the spokesperson said.

‘‘It is important we reassure shareholders that the consumer marketing campaign and initiatives to promote broader industry growth target different audiences and are being addressed by different strategies.

‘‘We are taking on board feedback from our suppliers to help inform our marketing plans moving forward.’’

Katunga farmer Daryl Hoey said the advertisements made farmers look unintelligent and backward.

‘‘We don’t have to denigrate farmers to try to sell a product,’’ he said.

Stewart Haberle from Nathalia thought it denigrated farmers and made them look like laid-back idiots.

He said some people might think it was funny but he didn’t.

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