Nestle Fumbles Facebook – Misses The Whole Point of Social Media

Something strange is happening on Nestle’s Facebook page right now and it’s the perfect example of a brand completing missing the point of social.

nestleHere’s the scoop: Some people – in protest of Nestle’s Palm Oil actions in Indonesia which are killing orangutans – have attempted to engage with the brand about the issue on Nestle’s Facebook page. These protestors are using an altered version of Nestle’s logo for their profiles photos, which calls the brand “killers”.

Instead of of assuring concerned customers that they’ve stopped using that supplier as they’ve announced in press releases, Nestle’s community manager engaged in nasty arguments with commenters.

At first, Nestle responded well, letting people know the can comment, but asking them not to alter the company’s logo.

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. 


The protesters responded and Nestle got nasty:

Paul Griffin Hmmmm, this comment is a bit “Big Brotherish” isn’t it? I’ll have whatever I like as my logo pic thanks! And, it it’s altered, it’s no longer your logo is it!

Nestle @Paul Griffin – that’s a new understanding of intellectual property rights. We’ll muse on that. You can have what you like as your profile picture. But if it’s an altered version of any of our logos, we’ll remove it form this page.

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 and rethink!

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

Darren Smith Freedom of speech and expression

Nestle you have freedom of speech and expression. Here, there are some rules we set. As in almost any other forum. It’s to keep things clear.

Paul Griffin Your page, your rules, true, and you just lost a customer, won the battle and lost the war! Happy?

Nestle Oh please .. it’s like we’re censoring everything to allow only positive comments.

Darren Smith Honey you need new PR

Jugular Bean @Nestle – it’s not ok for people to use altered versions of your logos, but it’s ok for you to alter the face of Indonesian rainforests? Wow!

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.

Matt Konig @Nestle – your attitude as a corporate representative is a disgrace!

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.

Nestle I think you missed out the ‘not’ there, Helen

Helen Constable Yes well I’m lacking in the first morning NOT NESTLE coffee. I think you missed your manners in your comments.

Matt Konig I’m not sure why you dislike the moulding of your kitkat logo into “killer” I personally think it’s quite catchy

6 hours ago · Report

Nestle @Matt – you could start here:

Helen Constable Well, that about sums you up. I just think Nestle would deal with public relations in a more professional manner. So while it’s fun arguing the toss with you on here, and it works well as publicity for our cause, the messages don’t actually get to Nestle

Hyra Zaka is a nestle rep running this page?????

5 hours ago · Report

Nestle We welcome debate, @Hyra – from any opinion. It helps us to know what people think and feel.

Tom Raftery “So, let’s see, we have to be well-mannered all the time but it’s perfectly acceptable to refer to us as everything from idiots right the way down to sons of satan with a few obscenities and strange sexual practices thrown in?” Actually, yes – strange though it may sound to you. As someone earlier said – you need to read the Cluetrain Manifesto to find out why – social media 101….

Fernanda Shirakawa I’m not using your logo…You deleted my comment anyway…

Andrew Brennan I have already PDF’d the page. Twitter is going off about this conversation mainly because the curator is so rude.

NTodd Pritsky “it’s our page, we set the rules, it was ever thus.”

LOL. Thanks for the object lesson on how to suck at Web2.0. Bravo.

Ad Grads Hey Nestle, this is the internet you douchetards…ALL YOUR BASE BELONG TO US

Rachel Adams You know Nestle…in the latest marketing week they even talk about turning negative press into something positive, eg. M&S ‘we boobed’ campaign and the ultimate example of skoda. I think you’re kind of missing the point of social media here.

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.

Ben Thayer This is such a great case study of how not to do social media – all companies thinking of jumping on the social media bandwagon without considering the type of public conversations people are dying to have about your brand be warned!

Chris Bull As someone who runs Facebook pages for brands I am astonished by the approach of Nestle in this instance. Surely Nestle know you don’t get into a dispute such as this in a public forum? If a customer has your logo as a display you should be delighted at the fact that they are embracing your brand. The divisive attitude from Nestle is also bizarre…I think the Nestle press office should be made aware of this. If these posts have the buy in of the press office…o dear.


I am completely stunned by the tone of Nestle’s comments here. While it’s fantastic that Nestle is actively engaging customers on their fan page as Digital Inspiration pointed out, most brands keep things one-sided. But, to insult your customers like this?! The snarky comment to @Paul “consider yourself embraced” It blows my mind!

As James Crowley of Tech Eye reported, Nestle has been dealing with a controversy around their Palm Oil killing orangutans, so naturally, concerned consumers, backed by GreenPeace are trying to engage the brand online about the issue and some placed altered versions of the Nestle logo on their profile pages as a form of protest…and the company’s crisis communications response is to post nasty insults? Insane.

This would have been the perfect time and place for Nestle to tell these concerned customers what they’ve said in their official statement: Because of our commitment, we are taking all feasible steps to impact our suppliers to assure that we don’t buy palm oil which contributes to deforestation. Nestlé has replaced the Indonesian company Sinar Mas as a supplier of palm oil with another supplier for further shipments.

Instead, they opted for sarcasm and insults.

Incidentally, this has sparked not only a major backlash on Twitter, in the Blogosphere and in traditional media, but some people have now created a Facebook page entitled Your Nestle Comments Won’t Get Deleted Here. I will keep you posted of any updates on the story. 



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