It’s a hum-dinger …. that hummingbird is …..

Yesterday I was sent a link on Facebook where I was tagged on the post published regarding the designer’s feeling and how Woolworths might have acted in a less than “noble” manner and stolen a creative’s artwork.

I was intrigued.

I read the original post.

I read the comments, and it looked very clear the public support was in favour of burning Woolworths at the stake.

I am not normally a reasonable person.

I do however know who supplies me with my Chuckles and the occasional Rotisserie Chicken.  I do want to possibly step with caution before I go to the wendy house and find my pick, and set my torch alight and go out and burn every Woolworths to the ground.

My impression has been that Joe Public does tend to get itself in a bit of a state – rather quickly.

No one shares posts as quickly as ignorant fuckers on Facebook.  {refer every stupid hoax status update that has ever come by way…}

I am not sure exactly how “mob mentality” works, but I am pretty sure that in the world of “Facebook” if you throw a stone, at least 250 people will toss a stone in unison.  Even if they have fuck all idea of what the issue is, nor could they be bothered to look up the counter arguments to the issue.

Then again that is sort of why we like Facebook.  It is like “rent a crowd” – where most of the crowd are happy to type what ever “comment” is going this week and share and share and share without actually asking any more questions.

Being me – of infinite resources and limited time, I did the “right” thing and started searching around to get a feel for maybe what the people were saying who were looking at this humming bird and maybe asking “okay what are the other things going on here?”

I had a poke around, and though I did not come out in Woolworths’ corner, I also was not convinced of Euodia Roets and all things being as she represented them.

I am all for the understanding that corporates can tread on the little guy – and most Buyers/Product Finder People have slightly less than questionable morals.

I am all for the understanding that the little guy/gal may not be as legally savvy as the guys in big suits, who can afford large buildings and a real snazzy tag line.

Corporates do not always play nicely with others, and as a small business person I do understand how much energy, timeour own money we can expend into a project that in some cases never comes to fruition, and then you sort of stand there holding the bag, whilst your Bank Manager is trying to call you about why you have a serious dent in your bank account.

People get fucked over each day – but to get fucked (for this euphemism) you must agree to take your clothes off and hop into bed, and only when the rogering does not go your way “cry fowl…” (I make myself laugh ….. yes I do)

I do think that if you are going to throw a stone, then best to check:

a) that your hummingbird is yours and so unique that there would be no question of it’s origin

b) that before you scream ‘”SOMEONE STOLE MY SHIT” you quickly check that you have not stolen any one’s shit —– and not add a credit to the photograph you actually copied ….. after you throw your shit outside the playpen …. google can be a very unforgiving mistress in that regard

c) that people remember that when Chicken Little screamed “the sky is falling” no one stopped to call the right people and verify that the sky is actually falling …..before they pass that piece of information around and all the natives lose their minds

d) take a deep breath – and weigh up your accusations, and what the probable fall out is going to be

Facebook will continue to have a field day with this, and as Kennith says, why spoil a good story with the facts?

Woolworths will come off as the villain – when possibly they were less than ideal, but were not the “corrupt idea stealer” they are being painted as being.

People will say they will no longer support Woolworths.   Good luck to them – it will mean I can park closer to the store, the queues will not be so long, and the rest of the village can go and buy lettuce with worms on it, and fruit that looks like it was rejected from Woolworths.

Euodia Roets will have her 15 minutes of fame, her blog hit rate will go off the charts — and then it will boil down to a mild simmer.

I think she is a very talented illustrator –  and I really do wish her all the best.  But I can’t support her on this one – not totally, though I do empathise with her frustration.

Here is Woolworths side of the story ….. clearly drafted by a very bored PR person …..

Woolworths, I shall continue to grace you with my presence, until you decide to change the recipe or discontinue Chuckles, then it is probably going to be “gloves off…” and I may well start a picket line of my own.


Leave a comment


  1. JennyS

     /  November 1, 2013

    I am amazed at the hypocrisy of some of the people posting on Roets’ facebook page. One of the people offering to sponsor legal action against Woolworths is one of the co-founders of the private school my children attend. I know for a fact that the establishment of the school’s library was largely funded by contributions received from the MySchool Card, of which Woolworths is a major partner. Also, a couple of years ago the school’s monthly School Yard Market was featured prominently in an issue of Woolworths’ Taste magazine. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!

  2. JennyS

     /  November 1, 2013

    @ reluctantmom

    I posted a comment on Euodia Roets’ facebook page, asking her who designed the 2nd hummingbird on the cushion. She deleted my comment and further negative comments appear to be blocked or deleted. Here is an interesting article to read:

  3. Leon

     /  October 24, 2013

    The truth will be as stated by Woolworths. A corporate will never publish a statement without being able to later back it up with the facts. Latest report is that even Roets’ (I mean really…who has five vowels in a seven letter first name….freaky shit!) version is an interpretation (we called it copying when I was at school) of the orginal owned by a guy named Scott. The design now owned by Scott’s son gives loads of artists permission to interpret the orginal and cannot say for sure whether either of the artists in question received permission as he does not keep records.

    So talk about crying foul

    • This entire thing is a bit alarming. I do notice that from her blog post – she either has not approved any negative comments, or she has not received any …. which I highly doubt.

      I think she is far more media savvy than she appears to indicate she is …. bless her media hungry little cotton socks — no doubt also bought at Woolworths ….


    another interesting blog post…however, I have no doubt that woolies will take shortcuts where possible. Don’t we all?

    Despite all of that I’m never, ever going to give up woolies and I never really considered how this plays to my hand until you mentioned closer parking so there you go. win, win.

  5. I felt the same when I read the story and I didn’t even search further. Not saying either side is right or wrong but there is more to this story!

    Not sure what she wants? Based on what she has shared she doesn’t legally have a foot to stand on?

  6. Jenny

     /  October 22, 2013

    More telling for me than anything is her absolute radio silence since this happened. She isn’t making herself look not guilty in my opinion and when it comes to little designers wanting to work with big guys and getting nailed: welcome to life people. It’s not all roses and light and if you want to run with the big dogs you can’t piss with the puppies. Learn from your experience and move on.

  7. JennyS

     /  October 22, 2013

    I too refused to join the lynch mob because there was absolutely no evidence proving that Woolworths had copied Roets’ bird. The pose is the same but the rest of the artwork is entirely different, and there is a second bird on the cushion which has no relationship to Roets’ bird. It does not make sense that Woolworths would copy Roets’ bird and then commission a different artist to design the other bird. The logical thing to do would be to commission one artist to do both birds. There many similar cushions with hummingbird motifs so even the idea is not original.

    Interesting that the copyright owner of the hummingbird photograph that Roets copied in her painting has come out in support of Woolworths. According to an article on ‘Woolies hummingbirds both from the same nest’, Greg Scott said: “If anything the (Durban) artist Woolworths selected had done less copying and more interpretation. So I’m in full support of Woolworths in the selection and use of this image”.

    Ian Moir said on Cape Talk radio this morning that they have the original trend boards, letters and email correspondence with their supplier (Republican Umbrella) who commissioned the artist on their behalf, and the original signed-off artwork. Sadly it seems that Euobia Roets has shot herself in the foot. Nevertheless, Moir said that the would not take any action against her despite the enormous damage to Woolworths’ reputation because of her mistake because shemis a young and talented designer in the process of building her brand. However, he would like to sit down and have a discussion with her. He also said that they have learnt from mistakes they made with regard to the Frankies saga and the now keep proper records of discussions, etc.

    • countesskaz

       /  October 22, 2013

      an excellent, well informed and researched response. Very interesting. thanks

  8. Claire

     /  October 21, 2013

    I get so annoyed when people continue to re-post and re-share without actually reading the comments – my absolute worst is sharing pictures of missing people who were found 3 weeks ago !

    Ditto for this, more than a few people (in the comments) mentioned that her bird looked very much like someone else’s – when you read that, stop re-posting, check the facts and use your brain, stop mindlessly being a sheep

    But as Countesskaz said, where there is smoke there is fire, and I am sure they have done it to designers before and I am sure they will do it again

  9. Kristin

     /  October 21, 2013

    Yes, I’m siding with the chuckles as well.

    Always with the chuckles.

    P.s. Haha! You said fowl.

  10. countesskaz

     /  October 21, 2013

    Where there is smoke there is fire and I do think that the truth lies somewhere in between on this one. I think you are judging Euodia Roets a little to scathingly. But it is your blog and you are entitled too. I would also be fakked off had I had meeting after meeting after meeting with no results and then happen to see said design in the store. Whether it is hers or not is the question? In fact, how she didn’t break a shelf full of locally produced, over priced glass I will never know?

    people are always trying to squeeze me on price and at the end of the day NOTHING is for free…someone ALWAYS pays in the end.

    Good on ya Eudodia Roets for speaking out and making people aware of what can possibly happen to designers. It took courage to speak out.

    I read Woolies’ reply on your link. and …? If thats what they say happened..then you have to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    As they say….the truth lies somewhere in between.

    Meanwhile whilst the shit storm ensues I will continue to pile my trolley with Norwegian smoked salmon, Chuckles, asparagus and snoek pate.


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