Safeway Bakery Bans Photos to Keep Its Cakes From Being Mocked Online

The Internet often has a mind of its own when it comes to viral photos, the spread of which is virtually impossible to stop. Safeway, the second largest supermarket chain in North America, found this truth out recently after photos of badly designed cakes made their way online. The company is doing its best to quell the mockery, though: apparently at least one local Safeway bakery has gone so far as to ban photos entirely.

Cake Wrecks is a website dedicated to photos of professional cakes that have gone horribly wrong. It recently received an email from a reader named Dara, who writes,

My local [name censored] bakery has this new policy – not strictly enforced, but kinda enforced — NO PHOTOS in the bakery department. None, nada. Per an ex-employee there, upper management is afraid that one of that store’s specific cakes will be posted on ‘that bad cake site.’ Per what they tell you in the store, their cakes are ‘all copyright protected.’ […] Apparently this new ‘no photos’ thing came about after y’all had posted their ‘Popcorn’ cakes on the site.

Dara is referring to a series of photos showing “Popcorn” cakes that look more like they’re filled with gobs of goo. If Dara’s account is accurate, it’s interesting that a store is citing copyright law to prevent its baked goods from being photographed (and subsequently ridiculed).

Ways To Play It Safe [Cake Wrecks via Boing Boing]

  • Nathan Blaney

    Well, the not too terribly expensive way to continue mocking Safeway cakes would be to just buy them and photograph them at home.

  • Michael Dixon-Brooks

    Local Albertsons has a sign on the door prohibiting any photos or videos in the store without permission, surprised Safeway doesn’t have a similar sign up.

  • 11

    when this ‘copyrighted’ material passes the digestive system, would they still hold the copyright to part of the end product?

  • Renato Murakami

    Heh, stupid. Instead of making some humorous comment about it or simply apologizing and trying to improve the product line, they go with camera ban.
    Hope it backfires and people stop buying from them after hearing about this.
    If your cake is on ‘that bad cake site’, and people there agrees the cake looks bad, guess what’s wrong?
    Talk about having a golden oportunity to improve business and get free publicity, and taking a huge dump on it.

  • kyoshinikon

    The “popcorn” appears to have been processed…

  • brandon

    cake wrecks? this whole obsession with cakes is so silly. THose cakes look fine to me. I don’t have cable, are all those stupid cake shows still on? people really care so greatly about cakes? cakes? …. cakes?

  • 9inchnail

    Nope, if the design is copyrighted, you can’t post photos of them, no matter if you bought the cake or not. It’s the same as scanning a book and posting it as a PDF online. Just because you bought it, doesn’t mean you can make it publicly available.

  • bob cooley

    Actually this would fall under fair use as Commentary and Criticism. You could buy the cake, bring it home, and photograph it under those guidelines.

  • Sterling

    Of course, the other side of it is that most businesses don’t need the advice of some me-too photo blog to conduct their business. I’m sure a bakery can determine for itself if its products sell or don’t sell. Is it really surprising that a business wouldn’t want a bunch of yahoo photographers disrupting their business?

  • eraserhead12

    hey, I’d take cakes over teen moms, guidos, and pedo-child-pageants any day :P.

  • Nathan Blaney

    I agree. At first, I thought they were just concerned about the cakes being photographed in the store – they’ve got every right to ban that. But, photographing an item at home or somewhere else and posting online? Nothing they can do about that, for sure.

  • Nathan Blaney

    That’s not the same thing at all.

  • Antonio Carrasco

    Has Safeway considered a policy of just NOT MAKING CRAPPY CAKES???