Hit or Miss? Nestle faces storm of criticism on social media sites

Kicked Kat Confectionery firm Nestle struggled to contain a barrage of criticism from angry consumers on Twitter and its official Facebook page last week.

The attacks followed claims in a Greenpeace viral that Nestle is continuing to source palm oil from Sinar Mas, an Indonesian firm accused of illegal deforestation of rainforests. After a Nestle employee responded on its Facebook page, the firm was chastised for its 'arrogant' approach.

HOW I SEE IT - Mike Mathieson, CEO, Cake

It was clear from the Panorama programme on Indonesian palm oil production two weeks ago, that Nestle was in the cross-hairs of Greenpeace. It was hardly a great surprise that last week's events took place.

What is surprising is that Nestle agreed to comply with a direct boycott of palm oil supplier Sinar Mas almost immediately. But this story became overshadowed by Nestle's naive and heavy-handed social media approach.

Firstly, its attempt to quash the Greenpeace viral merely prompted Greenpeace to make it freely available to anyone to download and far more damaging in the long run (600,000 to date). Then came the extraordinarily arrogant and very public outburst on Facebook.

It is astounding that Nestle did not have detailed crisis control in place or a view on how to behave and respond in the social environment.


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