Australia

Australia retailer Target withdraws Anzac themed products

Visitors pay respects to Australia's Anzac soldiers as they pin a poppy to Wall of Remembrance in front of Queen Elizabeth cruise ship in Sydney on 3 March 2015 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Australia marks the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings on 25 April

Australian retailer Target has withdrawn three Gallipoli-themed products after the government deemed them inappropriate.

The Target stores will no longer be selling a beanie hat, a hoodie and a foam can holder advertising Anzac Day.

The incident comes only days after supermarket chain Woolworths was forced to take down an Anzac Day campaign.

Some 11,500 Australian and New Zealand soldiers died in the WW1 battle that Anzac Day commemorates on 25 April.

The three products were among 50 or so items being sold by Target on behalf of Camp Gallipoli, a non-profit organisation that is aimed at educating young Australians about the legacy of Anzac Day.

The chief executive of Camp Gallipoli, Chris Fox, said that all profits from the merchandise were being donated to veterans or their families.

He said the funds would go to the Returned and Services League (RSL) which supports those who have served in the armed forces, and Legacy, an organisation which supports families of those killed or injured in the services.

But the withdrawn items were "deemed to be unsuitable and in breach of the permit" given to Camp Gallipoli to use the word "Anzac" on products, Australia's Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Ronaldson told AFP news agency.

'Spirit of mateship'

A spokesman for the ministry said that both Camp Gallipoli and Target - which is unrelated to the US retail company of the same name - had responded promptly to the request.

Mr Fox said he was concerned the negative publicity was detracting from the spirit of what his organisation is trying to do.

"All of Australia should be focusing on legacy and the spirit of mateship," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Earlier this week Woolworths was asked by the government to take down an advertising campaign which used the slogan "fresh in our memories" over photos of World War One soldiers, echoing Woolworth's slogan "The fresh food people".

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