Nestle is a famously controversial company, and lately the world is screaming about palm oil being used in its products which is killing off orangutans. With the wide press coverage on this issue, it's no surprise the denizens of the internet are trying to engage with Nestle on social media such as Facebook.
Greenpeace today changed its home page to a mock-up of the Kit Kat logo and urges visitors to 'stop Nestle destroying rainforests for palm oil' and to write to the CEO by way of its website. Some Facebook users have taken it upon themselves to change their profile pictures to the mock-up, which reads Nestle Killer instead of Kit Kat.
Any experienced press office would surely have a crisis management team on the case, correct? If so, it's clearly absent from the Nestle Facebook fan page. Which has over 90,000 'fans.' At the moment, whoever is running the Facebook account is taking a hostile approach and sarcastic tone towards curious visitors and potential customers.
The page says that Nestle welcomes comments, but "please don't post using an altered version of any of our logos as your profile pic - they will be deleted." Later whoever over in the Swiss HQ is handling the account goes on to say, "Oh please .. it's like we're censoring everything to allow only positive comments," and "I think you missed out the 'not' there" to one curious commenter who simply asked if the person writing the Facebook comments for Nestle actually has Nestle backing.
We talked to the UK press office who assured us that yes, the Swiss HQ handles the social media accounts. "Even a dumb ass company like [Nestle] wouldn't get such an idiot to be their public voice," says commenter Helen Constable. We're sorry to say Helen, but yes, it's another case of a company trying its hand at social media and failing miserably, trying to impose its rules and censorship on a free platform for which it has no control.
Another commenter simply says "Honey, you need new PR" - we can't help but agree with this.
The internet is a tough thing to censor, and taking a nasty tone to orangutan fans (orangufans?) surely doesn't help Nestle beat its image as a nasty company. Have some screenshots:
The offending page is here. We have contacted the Swiss press office but so far have had no reply.
Helen Constable told TechEye: "I think Nestle's public relations are a disgrace. They've been patronising, rude and in some cases offensive. It makes a mockery of a very serious situation.
"While most people try to have a serious debate and want answers to serious questions, Nestle is doing a fine job of putting a veil over the facts, and attempting to wind people up and make them angry.
"The fact they're censoring the comments and pictures is awful. I had a link removed. The link was to a boycott Nestle fb group, which contained information on the formula milk scandal. I was told putting this on their page was 'link spamming'."