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Greenpeace vs. Nestle – on freedom of expression

Categories: Activism, Advocacy

Last two weeks mark increased amount of discussions around recent Greenpeace campaign targeting Nestle for their usage of palm oil resulting in highly destructive impact on environment. Campaign started with a viral video [1] uploaded to YouTube and hosted on the main site of the organization featuring office scene during which an employee is eating a bleeding KitKat bar referring to the effect of the brand on orangutans.

Have a break? [1] from Greenpeace UK [2] on Vimeo [3].


In response to this criticism Nestle has successfully requested the video to be taken off YouTube [4]. Reactions to both original viral as well as to the brand response moved to Nestle Facebook group [5], where admins made it clear that negative opinions would be deleted and reminded fans that usage of any creatively re-designed company logos is illegal. Block of e-mails sent to the organization was also mentioned.

Entire issue generated a lot of criticism [6] about freedom of expression in general, but also towards Nestle as an organization, including comments from social media specialist suggesting appropriate actions – some of those in mainstream media, some on Nestle Facebook group [5].

Facebook_Nestle [5]

In the meantime Greenpeace has become a case study [7] of how to conduct a successful on-line campaign with the usage of relatively low budget tools, real time responsive strategies as well as creative ideas.


Additionally last Friday their other on-line campaign, AirPlot [9] resulted in success  – UK court has stopped [10] plans for further development of Heathrow Airport.