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Saturday, 3 May 2008

Nestle plays on Azeri nerves

This news made my day!

Not into cereal, but drinking Nestle now... for the occasion :)

BBC reports

Nestle in Azerbaijan CD blunder

The Swiss-based multinational food company, Nestle, has apologised to Azerbaijan after a free gift attached to a breakfast cereal backfired.

The CD-ROM featured information about countries around the world but the data on Azerbaijan caused outrage there.

It said that Azerbaijan had started a war against neighbouring Armenia and that the hotly disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh belonged to Armenia.

Nestle has withdrawn the cereal and promised to seize the offending CDs. [...]

Nestle inadvertently stumbled into a minefield.

The Azeri government vowed to take action, and there has been widespread talk of a public boycott.

Nestle has now issued a formal apology but some Azeris are still not happy.

They accuse Nestle of playing Armenia's hand, and are demanding more than just an apology to chew on.

*photo via BBC

6 comments:

Observer said...

yeah - I liked that story too :)

proudly anonymous said...

Nestle dodged a bullet there, can you imagine if they put offensive-to-Armenians info on those CDs?
We'd finally have a worthwhile cause for the diaspora to get all worked up about this year, because I think the usual "< insert the US president's name here > fails to call it a Genocide" story has gotten stale after all these years. They are recycling the outrage statement from year to year now, but this Nestle thing would have legs. That's too bad...

reflective said...

Why the cynicism? What is a worthwhile cause, proudly a? Look at the negative energy being dissipated over a power struggle by LTP masquerading as a deomcracy movement. You think that this is more productive?

I would love to see you go to Israel and refer to any aspect of the Holocaust as having "gone stale." Now that would be interesting to watch.

artmika said...

Reuters reports additional details:

Moscow, May 5 - Swiss-based food company Nestle has apologised to Azerbaijan after CDs it handed out free with packets of breakfast products angered the former Soviet state by accusing it of provoking war with its neighbour.

Azerbaijan made an official protest after discs aimed at children across Russia stated it had provoked a war with Armenia over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh territory. Nestle has halted distribution of the CDs.

"It's a complete disaster as a statement, first it is incorrect, there are many views. It is also absolutely not the right place for it, it is a catastrophe," said Andrey Bader, Nestle's corporate affairs director for Russia. [...]

Azerbaijan wrote to Nestle's headquarters in Switzerland to complain about the disc.

"We have sent an official letter expressing discontent and Nestle offered apologies and withdrew all the CDs which had been distributed," said a spokesman for the Azeri Foreign Ministry.

"Every measure which was possible has been taken," he said, noting the CDs were not distributed in Azerbaijan itself.

EMOTIONAL ISSUE

The bonus computer disc was being distributed across Russia from April 10 to April 30 with two breakfast products -- Kosmostars and Nesquik -- and contained nuggets of data about different countries.

"Now, regretfully, it has become pretty emotional in Azerbaijan," said Bader.

The content for the disc was prepared by an outside company and although the same details had been distributed since 1996, this was the first time it was noticed, said Bader.

Nestle has now temporarily halted the promotion, but will resume it once revised discs are despatched.

Bader said he did not know how many discs would have to be destroyed, but said it was a substantial campaign covering major cities across Russia, which has a population of 142 million.

He could not estimate the cost to Nestle, but said the decision to halt distribution was taken after consultation with its Swiss headquarters hours after the problem came to light.

"Nestle took time to officially apologise with its consumers, with a recorded speech on Azeri TV, we brought this in a very loud way to consumers," he said.

nazarian said...

Nestle sells cereals?

Anonymous said...

ha ha that's hilarious!! I feel like buying something from Nestle now too...bet it is selling well in Glendale ;)
Rhiannon