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How Nestle should have reacted to Greenpeace’s video

Food giant, Nestle, is under attack in the social media after Greenpeace posted a video to protest against the use of palm oil in its Kit Kat chocolates which is said to result in deforestation of jungles in Indonesia, homes of Orang Utans.

(Caution: Video may spoil your lunch)

Have a break? from Greenpeace UK on Vimeo.

Fans or anti-Fans have taken to Nestle’s fanpage and attacking Nestle.


Image from http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-20000805-36.html

So what did Nestle do wrong to spark such fury among fans?

Mistake Number 01 – Requesting Youtube To Take The Video Down

We have seen so many times how a request for a take down which only results in the “Stresiand Effect”.

Asking Youtube to take down the video was the mistake made by Nestle.  Yes, the video is negative to Nestle’s image but by requesting for the take down creates the perception that there is something to hide.

I recently dealt with a negative review of a product for a client and it appeared online. I had to explain to the client that the review has been done and asking for a take down would only result in only more bad publicity.

All it takes for the author to complain that the client requested for a take down and his fans/friends to talk about the take down and that result in more negative awareness of the product.

In fact, there is about a video made of Nestle staff chatting on how to get Greenpeace to remove the video.

Mistake Number 02 – Not addressing the problem

So far, I have yet to see Nestle’s comment on the use of palm oil. Maybe it is unavoidable that palm oil, but Nestle could have explained, if they are, looking at palm oil substitutes. 

Mistake Number 03 – Not treating this a crisis

An attack on social media should be treated like any crisis. Why? Because any wrong small, no matter how small, will be taken advantage of.

So like in any crisis, it is always good to take out your crisis management textbooks and handle the crisis as professional as possible.

While this may not have any effect on Nestle’s share price, it will sure affect image and the public’s outcry for the food giant to be more environmentally friend will continue to grow.

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