ANALYSIS: Consumer PR - Is it meltdown for the Ben & Jerry's brand? - Ben and Jerry may quit following parent Unilever's appointment of a new CEO to the brand. Matthew Arnold examines whether Ben & Jerry's can survive without them

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the hippie entrepreneurs who whipped up Ben and Jerry's Homemade ice cream, weren't too keen on selling their company to Unilever earlier this year. Their board nudged them forward, and after wresting a slate of sale conditions from the Anglo-Dutch food giant in negotiations, they conceded and settled into uneasy roles as company icons and guardians of its trademark social programs. But when a Unilever insider was appointed on November 20 to head Ben & Jerry's over their choice, it caused the company's namesakes to publicly hint at their resignation.

by MATTHEW ARNOLD

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