Sweetening the deal: #SPCsunday helps preserve Aussie icon @LindaDrummond reports


By Linda Drummond @LindaDrummond

15th February 2014

It’s easy to look at an issue and think: Someone should do something about that, but it seems our governments are becoming less inclined to be the ones to do something. So where does that leave us?

We can either complain. Or we can act.

Last week I acted, almost by accident, by creating the #SPCsunday campaign. As this article explains, a simple conversation on Twitter spread throughout the social media and into supermarkets and homes across Australia.

Like anyone with a social conscience, when I act I hope to make a difference, but don’t really expect to.

So I was pretty blown away by the response to a call-out to support SPC Ardmona (SPCA) by buying their peaches and eating them with ice cream on Sunday night. People went above and beyond. The pictures started flowing on the Saturday, with contributors showing their stacks of cans: peaches, pears, two-fruits, baked beans, spaghetti, tomatoes…

#SPCsunday was a social media success. Timelines filled with pictures of people sharing their meals, and through that, their support for local farmers and manufacturers. The response was overwhelmingly positive and continued through the week as newspapers and radio stations contacted me to discuss this feel-good campaign.

On the afternoon of Thursday, February 13, I received a text: “Take a look at Twitter”, and I saw that our successful social media campaign had made an impact. The announcement of a signed deal between Coca-Cola Amatil and the Victorian State Government on a $100 million co-investment had secured SPC Ardmona’s position in Australia. It fell short of the amount the company had hoped for with Federal Government investment, but it’s enough.

SPC Sunday didn’t secure this deal, but it helped push the issue into the spotlight and develop some real consumer support for the company – a sweetener for the deal, if you like.

‘Buy Australian Made’ campaigns have been lost in the never-ending search for the lowest prices, and we’ve forgotten about where the food’s coming from. Now, Aussie consumers, and supermarkets, are thinking about it again.

Social media is the perfect medium for social issues to gain momentum. It’s simple to spread the news with a simple click to retweet or share.

But we need to keep being creative.

Firstly, we need to think about what is the core of the problem – in this case it was proving SPC Ardmona products had a consumer base.

Secondly, we need to ask how can we prove this? Simply going out to buy the products was already working, with sales up 50 per cent in the week preceding SPC Sunday – but by asking people to share their pictures, a whole new dimension to the issue was created: personalisation.

Who doesn’t like to see a pic of a cute kid slurping up their spaghetti for lunch? It was a way to feel good and do good at once.

We’re experiencing a lot of challenges with the political landscape at the moment, and it doesn’t take much to feel overwhelmed. However, as this campaign has shown, it’s possible to have a win if you can just find the right angle.

When you do something good you hope to make a difference. When you actually see a positive result it buoys you to almost indescribable levels. Last week I kept tearing-up at how positively the #SPCsunday campaign was received. Can you imagine my joy at hearing that the company was saved and will remain in Australia?

I hope this inspires others to think of new ways to react to issues in society that need to be addressed and to keep fighting the good fight. We can win.

Linda Drummond is a journalist and digital marketing manager based in Newcastle NSW. Her website is www.lindadrummondmedia.com



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  1. If our federal government won’t protect Australian Industry, even an industry with national food security implications, the solutions then must come back to the community level, with local food, local producers coops, credit unions et al, buy local, eat local, recycle local, bank local….

  2. We need to bring this abject failure to notice in the “March in March”. Abbott, with his low IQ thinks he is doing well. We need to remind this Idiot that he is not doing well,He is a failure. We pay his wages and the guy is out of his depth. March in March for all Australians, before it is sold off.

  3. You’re a legend, Linda Drummond, and I’m very proud to say I’m also from Newcastle. A city that can rise great rallies for right causes (even when they’re not won…). Good on you and thank you. Now let’s try and do the same for asylum seekers, for saving our forests and our Great Barrier Reef, for stopping CSG, for divesting from fossil fuels and investing in renewables, for saving Medicare… The list is endless, and much undoing from the last five months needs urgent attention! @ozebelg

  4. Well done Linda. Your simple act did make a difference, one that the managing director of SPC-Ardmona gratefully acknowledged. His tweet thanking everyone, especially you, was heartfelt.

    It just goes to show that with social media we can all try to make some sort of a difference, something the Abbott government does not seem to understand.

    Of course the upcoming Victorian state election could have also been a possible reason for Napthine continuing with the state’s injection of funds to SPC-A. They were going to do that anyway but in conjunction with the Federal government who, as we know, reneged.

  5. Value for money says

    Make it compulsory that any foreign aid is given in goods or services. It is a way of promoting our products and services to the world too.

    For example food aid – SPC productss, tinned and ready for air lift.

    Our education provided via scholarship to the brightest in the third world.

  6. john921fraser says


    Put 50,000 Aussies on unemployment benefits for a year and it costs the remaining Aussie taxpayers $1 billion a year.

    Supporting SPC Ardmona to the tune of $100 million + $250 million to Holden looks like a bargain.

    But Joe "don't know" Hockey knows best.

    And Abbott doesn't care.

    Otherwise, as "the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs" he would be paying the Indigenous employees in his "closing the gap" Department the same wages as white fella's in the equivalent bureaucratic positions.


    Or perhaps no one told Abbott.

    Just like the catholic church had no idea child abuse was as bad as everyone was saying it was.

    • Value for money says

      John’s Dole insight makes sense. We also lose key skills such as design and engineering. I have a friend who is a Ford design engineer of a/c systems.

      I think propping up these industries gives us the ability to “Command” these industries in time of war. What happens if we have a hot war, and need to defend ourselves? I am sure the factories out of China, Korea, India and Japan will have trouble shipping goods to us when a hostile enemy is patrolling the South China sea etc.

      As an Accountant would say, they focus on the costs relative to their entity, not the nation. These costs will never be taken into consideration by the free market. The free market quite rightly should not have to account for its “safety”. This is the role of the Government. Supporting factories should be a factor of a defense budget. Not industry assistance.

      The training received by apprentices in these large factories is incalculable compared to some class room skills re-training program.

      I am horrified that the Liberals are being so economically rationalist. It’s insanity.

  7. Eva Makowiecki says

    In the 1980s we stopped training apprentices (how dare they demand a living wage?). Well bugger me if something ENTIRELY UNPREDICTABLE didn’t happen. By the 2000s all out tradies were in their 40s and 50s, were looking to retirement over the next decade, and there were no new electricians, plumbers, boiler makers, etc., to take their place – and we had a mining boom! Whoever would have thought such a thing could happen – just because we had stopped training 20 years before? (Keating’s Training Guarantee Act just didn’t make up the difference, and of course the Libs canned it when in government).

    Well, we could always hire from overseas – except that the same thing had happened all over the world, and everyone else was also looking to recruit from ‘overseas’.

    This is the free market. You don’t waste money on training! Well guess what? If we don’t take some control back, we will all be screwed. There will always be lots of people from overseas hungry countries who will take the jobs we are not trained for – because the free market regards training as an expense someone else should pay. And if we won’t work for Third World wages – well we only have ourselves to blame.

    The free market therefore dictates that we should be employed on subsistence wages (funny how workers not paid enough to be consumers never get a mention. The ‘free market’ doesn’t like to think too much). And so long as we destroy all the manufacturing industries – we will also be able to do away with those filthy unionist types.

    Look at the US. The middle classes have been decimated. They are fighting (often with an overqualification) unsuccessfully for menial jobs, and are now forming a significant proportion of the long term unemployed. This is the free market – oops, except that corruption of the ‘free marketeers’ actually caused the Global Financial Crisis – and somehow they didn’t have to pay. At that time, apparently the ‘free market’ needed protecting, and it was important that us (formerly middle class) taxpayers (generally not including the rich) gave them the helping hand they needed so much.

    I’m sorry, but I think I’d leave in a boat and head for Indonesia (and hope they aren’t as mean as us) when the ‘free market’ views of people like Gina Rhinehart and Rupert Murdoch actually take over. They are all drivers of a hard right-wing (justified by the ‘free-market’) ethics-free (does anyone really believe Rupert didn’t know about those phone taps) political agenda, championed in that joke of a newspaper “The Australian”.

    When pushed, the ‘free market’ is utterly and fundamentally unsympathetic (some might say psychopathic) to communities .

    We simply must take back some measure of control, and demand the Government defend us from the amorality espoused by ‘free marketeers’ like Rhinehart, Murdoch, Corey Bernardi (yes I know he’s a joke), etc. Free marketeers used to think that slavery and child labour was ok. I’m not satisfied they’ve ALL changed their minds on such matters.