Nestle Against the Whole World

Hi everyone, welcome back to my blog!

This week i will talk about legal risk surrounding a company when they dealt with social media.

I am pretty sure that all of us know Nestle, a giant multi-national confectionary company that probably has been around for our whole life. This will be the company we will focus into.

I will start by giving a brief explanation of what nestle did (Most of you will know already)

Nestle is the largest food and beverages in the world if you measure it by their profit. Their products line up starts from baby food, cereals, ice creams, snacks, and even pet food. Needless to say their annual sales are over 1 billion dollar and they have hundreds of factory and employs hundreds of thousand employees. Furthermore, they are also the largest shareholder for L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics company. For more info refer to this link.

You might be thinking how can this strong company faces legal risk? Aren’t they just too powerful? Well, its not the case this time.

This is how the story starts

Around mid-March in 2010, Nestle is having a battle with Greenpeace.  Greenpeace is having a campaign against Nestle using palm oil that literally destroys Indonesian rain forest and ultimately killing orang utan (subspecies of monkey).

Greenpeace’s turnover point starts when they post a video at Youtube, imitating a kit-kat “have a break” catchphrase. What’s so special about this video is, instead of finding the usual kit-kat chocolate, an orang utan’s finger is found inside the wrapping. And yes, the person eat it and the office screams in horror. You might want to see this ad so i put it under here.

Of course Nestle immidiately asked youtube to take it down and issue a news release

replaced the Indonesian company Sinar Mas as a supplier of palm oil with another supplier for further shipments,” and insisted that no palm oil from Sinar Mas had been used outside Indonesia. However, the company admitted that it could not guarantee that Sinar Mas palm oil wasn’t finding its way into the shipments of other suppliers it used.

Of course, Greenpeace is not satisfied so they starts hijacking Nestle Facebook page (talk about tough competitor). They take Kitkat original logo and change it into something else. Into something like this:

Long story short, Nestle is not satisfied with it and starts to delete comments on their own and say things like:

Thanks for the lesson in manners. Consider yourself embraced. But it’s our page, we set the rules, it was ever thus.

And this is the comment that Nestle used to respond to but it obviously backfired

Well if you want to read the story from the link i will post at the end of this blog it is clear that the people at that time is very angry, but eventually Nestle’s moderator apologise for everything.

This (deleting logos) was one in a series of mistakes for which I would like to apologize. And for being rude. We’ve stopped deleting posts, and I have stopped being rude.

In the end, thanks to this issues, Greenpeace won against Nestle in their campaign.

If you want to read the story you might want to search in google or read this link.

It can be seen from this story, that there will be a disaster if we do not manage and respond properly to social media. Social media is instantaneous and you almost cannot take back what you said or post, therefore you might face legal risk and furthermore it can affect your personal life.

Thanks for reading, cheers.


About triamanlc92

This wordpress is purely for acedemic purpose :D
This entry was posted in Enterprise 2.0, Uncategorized, Week 1- 5. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Nestle Against the Whole World

  1. Great read it was very entertaining. It is dangerous having social media with such big companies. I am very interested who and how this person commenting for Nestle on Facebook got that permission. That person clearly doesn’t seem right for the job as he got aggregated. They need to make sure they have someone in charge of that who is calm, collected and always responds properly regardless of what is being said. Good job and keep up the good work!

    • triamanlc92 says:

      Thank you for your reply

      Yes I agree with you that the person moderating the post did not do a good job, probably because he did not get proper instruction or training.

  2. Hi,
    I very well researched post and a great read. I agree with Robert, that the employee did not seem fit for the job and how he dealt with the situation. I do have a question my self though, If it weren’t for social media do you think Greenpeace would have been as successful in their campaign?

    • triamanlc92 says:

      Thanks for your comment,

      In my opinion, Greenpeace could be successful but it would take much much longer time.

      Only because they mishandled and maybe underestimated the power of mob in social media that this happened.

  3. mattjlow says:

    It’s crazy that these big companies don’t get on top of these misadventures sooner. I might of missed it but what were the actual legal ramifications of this? The article read more of a social media disaster.

    • fannyyuwono says:

      I was thinking the same too..

    • triamanlc92 says:

      Hmm maybe its because I did not mention it clear enough but in this case nestle is having a real legal battle with greanpeace, and you might see a lot of kitkat brand that is altered in purpose to mock nestle in facebook. And because of this issue it affect their situation with greenpeace which put them in a huge legal risk.

      Did it answer your question? I’m sorry if I cannot explained it really well

      • mattjlow says:

        You’ve done well, I think without looking into the case myself you have potentially uncovered a legal issue pertaining to Greenpeace’s use of social media to send a message to Nestle about their products. Have Greenpeace overstepped the boundary and infringed on copyright laws and/or defamation?

  4. Jose Alvarez says:

    Interesting read, was there really any lasting implications for Nestle though? I’m eating a Kit Kat atm, just saying….

    • triamanlc92 says:

      I think there is no lasting implications for Nestlé’s kitkat, or at least not the visible one. I think kitkat still has a pretty good reputation especially in japan.

  5. mattjlow says:

    haha classic Jose, you sure its not an orang utan finger?

  6. Lee says:

    Nice article ! yet several grammatical errors and typo found in several lines of the paragraphs. But i do believe that the employee was at fault in this case, because he/she or the one who coordinates the nestle face-book page might be emotionally overwhelmed by arguments with not-so-visible customers there. Social media can either break you or make you, thus it needs to be utilized cautiously. This mistake can be a valuable lesson to nestle to establish a constructive relationship with customers in future.

    • triamanlc92 says:

      Thank you for your comment,

      Yes i notice some grammatical errors, its because english is not my first language hahahhaha.

      i agree, nestle should learn from this experience or they will be overwhelm by power of social media today.

  7. Angelica says:

    Hi triaman,

    nice writing.. it seems that this issues has brought a big impact on nestle, although not to be felt by most countries, because of social media which is youtube, it has create a multiplier effect, because almost every one can access youtube whether on their pc, laptop or even their smart phone.

    any way, keep up the good job

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