November 26, 2019

Dutch supermarket asked minors for pics in underwear

Filed under: Food & Drink,Weird by Orangemaster @ 2:10 pm

AH-bag

It started off as an fun opportunity for employees of Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn in Nijmegen, Gelderland to be the first to sport new uniforms, but quickly turn sour and went viral. Albert Heijn employees, which includes minors, were asked to send in pictures of themselves using an app either in their underwear or ‘tight fitting swimwear’ to be able to get their clothing size right. The idea behind the inappropriate photos was that an algorithm could decide what size the person needed – why they couldn’t just tell their boss what size they were like normal people is beyond most folks.

Albert Heijn quickly stopped it was doing although after the media caught wind of it. Not only is this morally wrong and illegal, it also goes against a bunch of privacy laws like the GDPR. The chain is calling this ‘a misunderstanding’, with, if I read correctly, the shop manager blaming head office and head office blaming the shop manager and their communication. The shop manager apparently told employees sending in the pictures was “essential and obligatory”, while Albert Heijn’s head office said it was “voluntary”. The thing is, when a boss who has power over you tells you something is essential and obligatory you do it, and if they say it’s voluntary, you also do it because it’s your boss asking.

The Dutch Data Protection Authority called this “bizarre”, saying Albert Heijn had no grounds to ask or oblige their employees to provide such pictures, since employees are never in a position to give consent without being under pressure, which goes against the GDPR for starters.

(Link: tweakers.net, Photo of Albert Heijn bag by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved)

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September 22, 2018

Dutch supermarket experiments with quiet hour

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 8:08 pm

AH-bag

The Albert Heijn supermarket in Sint-Michielsgestel, Noord-Brabant is going to hold a quiet hour next Tuesday morning between 8 and 9 am to the benefit of autistic people and anyone who cannot handle the level of noise in a typical supermarket. The lights will also be turned down.

There won’t be any cash register noises, calls on the intercom or any kind of noise other people don’t really notice. However, too bad it is during the work week, as these folks are not at work and come from an institution, but then again I imagine it was tough to find an appropriate time.

Cashiers will ask less questions (we get asked for our ‘bonus card’ [loyalty card] or if we collect stamps, and keep it much simpler – not a bad idea for all of us. The entire idea was copied from the UK that apparently already does this, according to the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Autisme (‘Dutch Association for Autism’). Besides noise, supermarket staff will also make sure that pallets aren’t blocking the aisles – typically Dutch supermarkets fill the shelves when the store is open, not before of after like in other countries – and will make sure personnel don’t creep up on folks unexpectedly.

It seems to me I would love quiet hour and I’m sure a lot of you would, too.

(Link: omroepbrabant.nl, Photo of Albert Heijn bag by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved)

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January 12, 2018

Dutch chain uses ‘ethnic profiling’ for training

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 7:52 pm

Using a series of illustrations, Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn teaches its new employees, many of which, according to my shopping experience, are not white, that ‘Premium’ clients are represented by ‘white men with glasses’ (‘the good clients’) and that ‘Budget’ clients are represented by ‘black women with children’ (‘the poorer clients’). Albert Heijn is considered the pricier shop by the general Dutch public. The goal of pointing out which clients are which is to make sure their shops stock food suited to the neighbourhood.

After a complaint from an anonymous employee saying this was discriminating, Albert Heijn pulled it offline right away and ‘didn’t mean anything by it [didn’t realise it internally themselves], but because employees have been offended, they will have a good look at it’. Their system has been in use for two years, but it took an employee’s anonymous tip to the press to wake up the management who teach their young impressionable employees that white folks are desirable clients and others, not so much.

(Link: ad.nl, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)

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November 22, 2016

Mice chilling in the supermarket fridge

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 12:01 pm

Ah yes, there’s mice at an Albert Heijn supermarket in Limburg! We told you a few years back about mice in a hospital in Amsterdam, and I’m thinking that’s probably worse than at the supermarket, but it’s all gross. These mice look like they’re dancing:

And there’s also the classic clip at the Albert Heijn from The Hague Central Station. It was being filmed while an employee of Dutch Railways was also filming and has more mice than the above clip, which is not a good thing:

(Link: limburger.nl)

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November 27, 2014

Supermarket gets local language wrong in advert

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 10:13 am

AH-bag

Supermarket Albert Heijn has advertised its delivery service throughout the province of Groningen on many billboards in Frisian (see pic), the language of the province next door, which irritated the locals. In Groningen the dialect is Grunnegs, which looks and sounds quite different, and in the case of the adverts implies that proud Groningen has been lumped in with the province of Friesland. Picture the Italian Captain Bertorelli of ‘Allo ‘Allo! saying “What-a-mistaka-to-maka!”.

Albert Heijn has admitted it messed up and will remove the adverts. I don’t understand how it even got that far.

(Links: www.deondernemer.nl, www.adformatie.nl, Photo of Albert Heijn bag by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved)

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August 22, 2014

Guacamole pulled from shelves for not containing avocados

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 11:36 am

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I was in Munich earlier this year and went to a tapas bar with a German friend. He ordered some guacamole with nacho chips and then said that he really liked the guacamole he had eaten in the US, but didn’t understand why guacamole in Munich looked like mayonnaise with wasabi through it. I tasted it, and it was bitter: it looked very pale and didn’t taste like avocados at all. Then I told him about the guacamole dip you could buy at the Albert Heijn supermarket here that had almost the same questionable colour and tasted like weird mayonnaise.

It turns out that AH guacamole dip, which the supermarket chain has said should not be compared to real guacamole (so why do they feature a bowl of guacamole as a picture on the product?), has been pulled from their line of TexMex-style products for containing all of 0.7% avocado powder. More than 7,000 people have voted the dip ‘the biggest marketing lie of the year’. The supermarket chain has pulled the product and agreed to find another product to sell to replace it.

(Link: www.deondernemer.nl, Photo of Guacamole by my_amii, some rights reserved)

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May 19, 2013

Parody of Holland Marketing’s latest video advert

Filed under: Food & Drink,Sustainability by Branko Collin @ 12:43 pm

Last week Holland.com published a video advert in which a cocky narrator explains why ‘Holland’ is the original cool. He contrasts posh English phrases with the down-to-earth words the Dutch supposedly use, such as ‘food’ instead of ‘artisanal cooking’.

The video above is a parody that appeared shortly after — I wouldn’t be surprised if it had been made by the same ad agency — in which the original visuals are replaced. ‘Artisanal cooking’ is suddenly contrasted with pulling a croquette from a street-side vending machine and ’boutique shopping’ becomes the Saturday morning Albert Heijn (Dutch supermarket) run. Added in for good measure is the world famous Dutch ‘service’, a concept so alien that the language doesn’t even has its own word for it and defaults to the French word (although we generally pronounce it the English way).

The original advert caused a minor uproar in the Netherlands, with pundits reacting strongly to the fact that most of the footage is shot in either Amsterdam or greater Amsterdam. Elsevier lists the complaints.

Personally, I think it is a great advert. It highlights the open manner in which the Dutch speak to the point of being abrasive and presents this as charming and desirable. The heavy Dutch accent spoken by everybody in the video underlines the exaggerated, almost cartoonish tone of the video. Our English really isn’t that good, but the message the viewer takes away is that it’s good enough to get by when visiting the country. This entire presentation helps smuggle in a lot of fact-free content, stressing great food for example even though our culinary tradition is mostly one of Calvinistic soberness (as long as you stay north of the great rivers), and pointing out our traditional use of wind energy even though nowadays our record for renewable energy is one of the worst in Europe.

(Video: YouTube / DoLeaveItOutMate. Photo: crop from the video)

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October 13, 2011

Boy George upset about Karma Chameleon in super market ad

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 8:26 am

“Virgin Holland sold Karma Chameleon to a supermarket chain for 5000 euros, the dirty fucking shit-heads! And they have no fucking respect!” Thus tweeted British eighties’ pop star Boy George on October 2.

Not sure if he is upset about the money, about the clip, or about not having been consulted.

The clip shows a super market manager singing “Tweede komme-komme-kommer gratis”. In English: “Second cu-cu-cucumber for free. You get one for free. You get one for free-hee-hee-hee.”

Muziek-nieuws.nl mentions that in 1983 Culture Club song Karma Chameleon spent a week at one in the Dutch Top 40.

(Video: Youtube / Albert Heijn)

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December 26, 2009

Supermarket reports run on carrots

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 9:40 am

Supermarket chain Albert Heijn reported last week that the sales of carrots had gone up 25%, writes Z24.

The on-line business news publication speculates that the snow of last week may have had something to do with the increased demand: both snowmen and traditional winter dishes such as hutspot require carrots.

(Photo by Melinda Shelton, some rights reserved)

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February 12, 2009

Don’t eat bulbs, warns supermarket

Filed under: General,Nature,Weird by Branko Collin @ 7:51 am

This is one of those inside-the-asylum moments: Supermarket Albert Heijn sells baskets with flower bulbs, and at the bottom it says: “For decorative purposes only, do not eat.”

Inside-the-asylum moment? A reference to the late Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books, in which one Wonko the Sane explains why the rest of us are living at the funny farm:

The sign read:

“Hold stick near center of its length. Moisten pointed end in mouth. Insert in tooth space, blunt end next to gum. Use gentle in-out motion.”

“It seemed to me,” said Wonko the Sane, “that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a package of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane.”

This is why he built himself a house that’s ‘outside’ the asylum.

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