Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Big Food Employs Cyber Armies to Confront Critics

Wiki image
Activist Post

As you read this article, Nestle is reading it too.

Big food companies enjoy greater sales and popularity using social media. Nestle takes it even further with its state of the art Digital Acceleration Team (DAT). Tasked with "listening, engaging, transforming, inspiring," it actually looks more like a brightly lit intelligence base complete with a TV news studio-like room.

If Nestle is the number one food company and 12th place in the Reputation Institute's most popular brands, why would it need a special department to oversee all Internet buzz - even real-time posted recipes?

Nestle is worth $200 billion and has 6,000 brands to protect, many of which are number one in their market -- A little spare change goes a long way in damage control. And Nestle is still under fire from some ongoing PR nightmares.

Reuters clarified last fall that Nestle follows cyber rules and also does not buy popularity or fake profiles through social media sites. It merely monitors and deploys people to respond to negative media. Within minutes, they respond to questions and criticisms all over the Net.

In a developing story, however, Nestle was busted for overstepping those bounds when a court fined them around $30,000 (USD) compensation for infiltrating anti-globalization activist group Attac that had campaigned against them. This time they actually hired a third party Swiss group called Securitas AG to infiltrate Attac's meetings. A disappointed Nestle spokesman said, "that incitement to infiltration is against Nestlé's corporate business principles".


There is an ongoing Nestle boycott since 1977 for their aggressive marketing of their infant formulas, especially in underdeveloped nations where some babies reportedly died from an all formula diet. If you check out their formulas online, they now have a disclaimer that encourages breastfeeding unless necessary.

They were heavily criticized in the documentary Bottle Life because they hold the largest market for environmentally unfriendly bottled water - and that the water is basically tap - but it can come from companies that drain impoverished towns abroad of their groundwater supplies. Chairman and former CEO Peter Brabeck is careful to counter those criticisms in the Reuters report.

Here's the trailer for Bottle Life:



Nestle's DAT which uses software from Salesforce.com, Inc. also utilized by UPS, Dell, HP, American Red Cross, and Continental Airlines may have formed as a result of Greenpeace's backlash at Nestle's use of palm oil. All health arguments aside, some companies clear forests which kill endangered orangutans and displace residents. A Greenpeace video that went viral depicted a bored office worker "taking a break" with a Kit-Kat bar that actually contained a dead orangutan finger - he crunches down and spurts blood everywhere. Nestle promised not to use companies that harmed off-limits environments for their palm oil.

A major social media backlash had ensued. Their initial response provoked more anger and was involved in a book about social media gaffes. Now, they've redoubled their efforts and doubled their social media expenditures.

You can see the beginning of that backlash video in this report of Nestle's DAT:



Another consumer bane: their products are rife with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) including their infant formulas which also contain synthetic vitamins. They spent $1.3 million against California's Proposition 37 to label GM foods.

Has Nestle's DAT paid off in greater profits? Absolutely. Pete Blackshaw, former digital brand manager for Proctor & Gamble, understands the power of PR and social media. He says: "If there is a negative issue emerging, it turns red --when there are a high number of comments... it alerts you that you need to engage."

They are quite proud of their new, organized technology as you can in the following video where they showcase it for the public:



But are they "listening, engaging, transforming, inspiring" or are they deploying cyber soldiers and infiltrators for fire control after the damage is done? Would their resources not be better spent listening ahead of time and anticipating consumer needs instead of covering the fallout?

Reuters also reported that other "companies, such as PepsiCo, Danone and Unilever, have exploited the opportunities to promote themselves online." It seems it is a growing trend for controversial companies, especially food companies, to combat negative comments from critics with professional cyber armies.

Sources:
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/10/26/uk-nestle-online-water-idUKBRE89P07Q20121026
http://digitaljournal.com/article/335721

Read other articles from Activist Post Here



BE THE CHANGE! PLEASE SHARE THIS USING THE TOOLS BELOW



BE THE CHANGE! PLEASE SHARE THIS USING THE TOOLS BELOW


If you enjoy our work, please donate to keep our website going.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Big Food is out of control and this sort of thing is not surprising.

What is surprising is that Rand Paul seems to serve the interests of Big Food, and NOT of we the people. He voted in the Senate to deny US states the right to label food with information on GMO ingredients. Big Food was very happy with their boy Rand and his vote to protect them.

http://farmwars.info/?p=8686

Anonymous said...

Appealing to "low info voters", That's an huge demographic and they know it.

The Democratic party is largely made up of "low info voters"

Here's a hilarious video to make my case....

http://youtu.be/qnrHd8jdtIw

Anonymous said...

Recent vote in the Senate to defend the American people, and give them the right to know what is in their food. The vote was about giving people INFORMATION that BIG FOOD did not want them to have. The Senate protected big food.

73 greasy Senators voted in favor of 'low information' on what goes into their food.

26 greasy Senators voted in favor of high information and allowing people to know what goes in their food.

ALL 26 VOTING TO INFORM PEOPLE WERE DEMOCRATS, NOT ONE REPUBLICAN.

Demorats are scum, just like Republicans. It is just that they are less scummy.

Anonymous said...

N.E.S.T.L.E.'S food is usually the rottenest........................

Anonymous said...

Nestle and many others have aborted fetal cells in food products, cosmetics and medical products like vaccines. It is getting so it is dangerous to buy any prepared foods because you don't know what's in them. Check the info about this on Google; it's there in horrifying reality.

Anonymous said...

Um... "surprising"? In what way? He may not be as much of a libertarian as his ol' dad, but the libertarian bug is there in his bloodstream. And don't ever go to a libertarian to fight anything that begins with the word "Big." Their favorite mantra is "Hey, if you can make a billion dollars, more power to ya!"

How is a monster like, say, Monsanto to be contained in the sort of world that libertarians fantasize about? Oh, that's right! If a huge corporation does something unethical they'll be "punished in the marketplace!" Riiiiight!

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 9:03 PM - Not all libertarians have the same ideas for the system to be established.

My views cover a wide range of BS "isms" but most generally view me as dominantly libertarian, but my ideal system - which I do have a manifesto for - is a combination of direct-democracy, socialism, state-capitalism and free-market capitalism, and to a small extent corporatism.

Under my system there would be no problem keeping these types of companies and people under control as most of them that are the biggest problem wouldn't exist - all major industries deemed to be in the 'national interests' would be "nationalized", including those that control vast portions of the nations food supply(also oil & gas, electricity, basic communications, military arms companies, etc.).

All other markets and industries would be virtually unregulated(free market) beyond the basic coverage of 'common law'.

The people in "councils" like the Libyan system would decide what they want and the government corporation(which all citizens are share-holders/owners of) would see to making it a reality.

The key though is to have inalienable minority rights and protections, otherwise it would end up as a new U.S.S.R after a decade or two probably.

There are many options available but most of the good ones would require people to compromise their own personal belief's to some extent for the good of society as a whole.

And that is where real change ends as 90% of people (even here on AP) are set in their own ways and have no interest in compromising their ideological belief's.

Peace,
Jonny

Anonymous said...

Come on Nestle, step in and defend yourself.
We're open to your ideas here ;-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah we're so open to new ideas........as long as guns are part of the solution. Guns Rock!

angiemharper2 said...

I followed the issues with encouraging mothers to use nestle formula mixed with local water which is not fit for human consumption, which goes back a very long time, rather than continue to breastfeed and has it's anti-bodies.
Nestle.....what can you say.....tomorrow the world?
There is room for global enterprise which is ethical.
CANADIANS FIGHT BACK, DO NOT LET DEALS LIKE THIS GO THROUGH.
WE AS CITIZENS ON THE PLANET HAVE RIGHTS TO FRESH WATER, FOOD AND TO LIVE IN A DEMOCRATIC WORLD, WHERE EVERYONE IS TREATED WITH RESPECT.
CLAIMING WATER IS NOT A GOD GIVEN RIGHT....HOW DARE THEY?????

Anonymous said...

Will Global companies like Monsanto and Nestle never stop??? Greed.....a terrible sin.
I followed for a very long time the approach of encouraging mothers in third world countries to get free samples of baby milk. They give them enough to get dependent and mother's milk dries up, (which as we know has anti-bodies to protect the child), then the babies die as the water is often filthy dirty, and not fit for their little bellies.
WATER, FOOD, EQUALITY, DEMOCRACY ARE ALL OUR WORLD'S HUMAN RIGHTS, BOYCOTT THIS COMPANY'S PRODUCTS PEOPLE.....YOU FORGET HOW POWERFUL THIS IS, WE OF THE 60'S REMEMBER....YOU NEED TO READ THE SMALL PRINT AS NESTLE PRODS ARE EVERYWHERE!
WE BROUGHT DOWN APARTHEID!

Post a Comment