Nashville/ Retail & Industry
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Published on June 19, 2024
Nashville's The Peach Truck Accuses Kroger of Unauthorized Use of Marketing Material Amid Intellectual Property ConcernsSource: Facebook/The Peach Truck

Nashville-based business The Peach Truck recently made headlines after calling out grocery chain Kroger for unauthorized use of their marketing material. In a viral social media post, The Peach Truck highlighted how an image featuring one of their employees had been altered and adopted by Kroger in their marketing materials. This move, according to The Peach Truck, points to a broader problem of larger corporations taking advantage of smaller businesses.

Stephen Rose, co-founder of The Peach Truck, couldn't have expected to find his own employee's image being used to promote Kroger's new “Sweet Georgia Peaches” campaign. The incident came to light after Rose received a Google alert about his business, which turned out to be associated with Kroger's initiative—a peach-selling scheme reminiscent of his own, according to WSMV. "The craziest thing in the history of our 12-year-old business happened to us today," Rose stated on Instagram and TikTok, shedding light on the situation.

Kroger has since acknowledged the misstep. "We were embarrassed to learn about this. You could say we have peach on our face! While these images were not approved to be shared as part of our marketing campaign, they should never have been created in the first place. We have removed the images from our system. We apologize to The Peach Truck and wish them nothing but success,” a spokesperson for Kroger conveyed in a statement to multiple news outlets including The Tennessean and FOX 17 News.

Joanna Mariani, Vice President of Marketing at The Peach Truck, expressed concerns beyond the incident itself, highlighting the potential misuse of AI or Photoshop in such scenarios. She emphasized that such issues could seriously threaten entrepreneurs and creatives, as reported by FOX 17 News. Despite the kerfuffle, The Peach Truck has stated they are not looking to pursue legal action. Instead, the focus remains steadfast on their customer service and the quality of their produce, with an aim to inspire change in how big corporations engage with smaller entities.

As this story continues to develop, the conversation is seemingly shifting towards the protection of intellectual property and the ethical considerations within digital marketing practices. The Peach Truck has been a mainstay in the local Nashville community and beyond, delivering fresh peaches to over 25 states, as described in their company history. This incident has raised a flag for other small businesses to vigilantly safeguard their creative assets against potential misuse by larger competitors.