Hatin’ on Nestle

March 26, 2010Jon Brooks Comments Off

kitkatThe advertising, marketing, and media blog Thought Gadgets posts on a dust-up between users on the Nestle fan page on Facebook and a company rep. The Nestle page has been the target of an online anti-deforestation campaign by Greenpeace, as described here by the site Web Strategy, which also lays out a response plan for companies experiencing this type of social media attack.

Nestle’s Facebook meltdown

Oops. Nestle, or whoever runs their Facebook fan page, stepped on a social media landmine this weekend with this update:

Nestle: To repeat: we welcome your comments, but please don’t post using an altered version of any of our logos as your profile pic – they will be deleted. Fri at 2:26am

Nestle received 190 complaints within 24 hours on Facebook, and thousands of tweets reaching hundreds of thousands of consumers. You see, the surest way to tick off users of social media is to delete their comments. Yes, by the old standards of 20th century law, brands have a right to protect their intellectual property. But social media comprises fluid networks of users sharing and retweeting and mashing up material. Brands no longer command media channels or the spread of memes; if you want to win, you have to give users room to play.

Here are highlights from how it played out:

Paul Griffin: Not sure you’re going to win friends in the social media space with this sort of dogmatic approach. I understand that you’re on your back-foot due to various issues not excluding Palm Oil but Social Media is about embracing your market, engaging and having a conversation rather than preaching! Read www.cluetrain.com and rethink! Fri at 2:51am

Nestle: Thanks for the lesson in manners. Consider yourself embraced. But it’s our page, we set the rules, it was ever thus. Fri at 2:53am

Paul Griffin: Your page, your rules, true, and you just lost a customer, won the battle and lost the war! Happy? Fri at 2:56am

Nestle: Oh please .. it’s like we’re censoring everything to allow only positive comments. Fri at 2:58am

Darren Smith: Honey you need new PR Fri at 3:20am

Jagos Golubovic: I was a big fan of your products, but now, when I saw what you guys wrote, I think I’m gonna stop buying them. Fri at 3:55am

Helen Constable: I’d like to know if the person writing the comments for Nestle, actually has the backing from Nestle? I doubt it. Even a dumb ass company like them would get such an idiot to be their public voice. Fri at 4:10am

Nestle: I think you missed out the ‘not’ there, Helen Fri at 4:12am

Hyra Zaka: is a nestle rep running this page????? Fri at 4:39am

Nestle: We welcome debate, @Hyra – from any opinion. It helps us to know what people think and feel. Fri at 4:44am

ymann Lee: WFT !!!! This firm is a ugly creep !! trafficking and now censorship of my personal life. it seems pretty nazi !! Fri at 5:19am

Fernanda Shirakawa: I’m not using your logo… Fri at 5:55am

Fernanda Shirakawa: You deleted my comment anyway… Fri at 5:57am

Damien DeBarra: What a total train wreck. Sorry Nestle, but you really don’t seem to get it do you? Social media provides you with an opportunity to engage with your customers – to listen to them, to show that you actually care about ethical issues in business. Sadly it seems you have precisely the opposite attitude and seem determined to be as aggressive, patronising and corporatist as you can. And practically guaranteed that folks will now start shunning your products. Fri at 8:00am

Mark Watts-Jones: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Case study in how not to engage with your customers. We’ll await the inevitable apology and climb down. Fri at 11:06am

Nestle: This (deleting logos) was one in a series of mistakes for which I would like to apologise. And for being rude. We’ve stopped deleting posts, and I have stopped being rude. Fri at 1:29pm

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