He has been your local bloke for more than three decades and now this Wellington businessman will have the title stripped from his store in what some believe is a move motivated by political correctness.
Michael White & Co is just one of the many Ruralco-owned CRT branches across Australia which will have the “Your Local Bloke” slogan removed.
Ruralco CEO and Managing Director, Travis Dillon, was quick to dismiss talk that the slogan change was motivated by political correctness. He said the Ruralco marketing team had simply decided it was time for a refresh.
“It’s just unfortunate our timing has come around that of which political correctness is in the headlines,” Mr Dillon said.
“It is a discussion that has been going on within the company for years in order to make it more relevant to our customers and CRT members.
“The Local Bloke, while it has been part of the business since 1988, it’s just not as relevant as it was before but it’s not motivated by political correctness, it’s just not contemporary or fits with the profile or our business.”
Mr Dillon said it is unlikely the company will reappoint a new slogan for CRT, instead a number of brands around rural Australia will be upgraded and refreshed in what will be rolled out as a staged approach.
“Not everyone will have to change overnight, it is a gradual upgrade over the years,” he said.
“In terms of stores they’ll be given a time frame to change it so we don’t expect it will be a massive impact to our branches.”
However he admitted the news hasn’t been well-received by all members of the group, some who have been a part of it prior to the slogan even being introduced.
“I think everyone understands we need to have a more contemporary logo and that “Your Local Bloke” doesn’t necessarily represent our customer base anymore, so generally it’s all been pretty supportive,” he said.
Mr White of Simpson Street in Wellington didn’t sugarcoat his disappointment in the company’s decision, one that he estimates will come with a $3000 price tag to his store alone.
“I think it’s absolutely stupid,” he said.
“I think that people quite like the jingle and I’ve never had a complaint.”
In fact, he said the latest news surrounding the slogan change has prompted the most comments from customers in his time at the store.
“Where do you draw the line?” he said. “It’s plastered all over our store. I can’t see any benefit to anybody except sign writers.”