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Bad case study example

March 22, 2010

Nestle is in some bad PR trouble, what should they do?

Recently Nestle executive lobbied to have a U.K. Greenpeace video removed off YouTube due to it’s graphic nature “exposing” Nestle of using oils in their products that are known harmful to the enviornment, greenhouse gas emissions, and endargered species loss. Nestle won the case with a copy right complaint, but the news only got worse for the company. Within days all Facebook green activist groups were rallying online changing their Facebook photos to “Nestle Killer” replacing the Kit-Kat slogan with the word killer underneath. The online protest quickly caught on, CNET reports:

“A Nestle rep diving into the comments of the thread with responses like “Oh please…it’s like we’re censoring everything to allow only positive comments” didn’t calm things down.

Now, to be fair, Nestle has the right to protect its intellectual property (though several intellectual-property attorneys with whom CNET spoke said that the logo-alteration issue would have a relatively shaky foothold if it ever went to court), but that’s not what the Web sees; rather, these come across as two instances where it’s been attempting to stifle criticism by citing copyright and trademark. And the remarks on behalf of the page administrator were what really pushed it over the edge.”

So is the PR person to blame? The company? The users changing their pictures?

As social media grows the laws and ethics become more and more detailed and case particular. Is social media becoming a way to bully online or is it just furthering the American way of free speech? Time will tell?

Nestle News via

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