Toy titan LEGO sends warning to Countdown over Bricks campaign
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LEGO has sent a clear warning to Countdown to ensure its brand is not used to promote the supermarket chain's recent brick collectables campaign.
Earlier this month, the chain launched "Countdown Bricks" which are best described as LEGO-like collectables shoppers can use to build their own eco-friendly supermarket, complete with aisles of groceries, supermarket staff, solar panels and produce.
The collectables even includes a Hyundai electric car, which can be 'plugged in' to charge outside while the driver shops.
It appears that has drawn the ire of the Danish toy production company, which reached out to Woolworths Australia - Countdown's owners - late last week.
A LEGO spokesperson said the company had not taken legal action but had asked the campaign not be confused with its product.
"The Countdown Bricks promotion does not feature any LEGO bricks or products and we have therefore asked to ensure that our brand name is not mistakenly used in relation to the activity," the spokesperson said.
A Countdown spokesperson confirmed LEGO had contacted Woolworths Australia about the "marketing and communication activity" around the campaign.
"LEGO sought assurance that Woolworths Australia did what they reasonably could during their Bricks campaign to communicate that Bricks are made by UNGA and in no way associated with the LEGO brand.
"Woolworths Australia relayed that message on to us, to confirm we are doing the same in our current Countdown Bricks campaign here in New Zealand.
The spokesperson for the supermarket chain said there were processes in place to ensure "everything possible" was being done to make sure the campaign was not associated with the LEGO brand.
The spokesperson did not detail what those processes were.
Unlike previous versions of miniature collectables, which have been criticised for their use of plastic, the Countdown minis are made out of hard-to-recycle items like old fridges, goggles and luggage handles.
The plastic from just one used fridge is able to transform into 600 bricks, more than 150,000 sets of old swimming goggles have transformed into windows and doors, and 16,800 plastic handles have been cleverly transformed into the tyres of the mini electric delivery trucks.