What Are People Thinking?

I tend to stay on the periphery of any big stushies that hit the interwebz.   You know what I mean..the sahm vs the working mom, the mommy blogging bashing, and the review blogger bashing…but I am sitting her aghast.  Really.

I found PHD in Parenting through twitter.  I find her posts to very inspiring and thoughtful.   This one has sort of sent me over the edge though.

I hadn’t heard at all about this event.

Now bloggers being invited to big corporate events isn’t anything new.

In fact the rumblings and snarking about ‘Blogging with Integrity’ and to review or not review covered this practice.

A certain group of the more ‘read’ bloggers DO get invites and DO get feted by major corporations in the name of target marketing.

Food companies do it.  Car companies do it.

I read about their adventures all the time.

People like free stuff.   Can’t really say anything about that.

I accept free stuff too from time to time for review purposes.

I don’t feel guilty about it, and enjoy the opportunities when I get them…if they fit with who I am and what my sites are.

I haven’t been flown anywhere or given cars to test yet.

But I am not jealous…..but am still waiting for the big vacuum cleaner companies to discover me!

And I would certainly have give GREAT thought to attending anything done by Nestle.

Why?

How can I..someone who is not THAT big on ‘controversy,’ who doesn’t spend hours researching stuff, who doesn’t advocate ANYTHING terribly passionately know that NESTLE is a controversial company with really really shady marketing campaigns for not only formula but for things like bottled water.

In fact theirbottled water ads annoyed the SHIT out of me all summer long.

Happy ads about how we are made of water and need water…so lets buy it in tiny plastic bottles to not be recycled and suck up water from various countries water supplies.

Many organizations have been pissed about the water stuff too.

PHD in Parenting is most concerned about their unethical marketing practices concerning their formula.

There is nothing wrong with their formula.  I have used it.  I am not using it now.  Though I do formula feed my baby.

This isn’t about the formula.  This is about how and who they market to.

A while back Nestle made themselves ‘sound’ very nice by donating formula to mothers in third world countries.  How nice.  How nice to give a product that relies on sterile bottles and clean water to people who don’t have either.

The World Health Organization has been all over them for this issue and the language they continually choose to use to market their product.

This is a good page for links about it all.

There is loads all over the web about Nestle and their marketing practices.   Just google Nestle and see what you get.

I am honestly stunned that people would NOT know about any controversy surrounding this company.

I am honestly saddened that they wouldn’t research the company before accepting an invite from them.

And hey…I LOVE their candy.  I buy many Nestle products without even THINKING about it.  But I won’t buy bottled water and I won’t buy their formula.

And I certainly wouldn’t accept their invitation to ‘hang’ with them.

This isn’t about breastfeeding versus bottle.

This is about one company and their continuing unethical marketing tactics.

They are a global company with a huge influence on the environment and lives.

We should never be fooled by their nice packaging.

We should never be fooled by ANY marketing.

Nothing should ever be taken at face value.

We as parents should know that the best.  It is up to us to teach our children to be free thinkers.   To be educated.  To learn to make decisions about their lives and their world as free from influence as possible.

Where is Marshall McLuhan when you need him!

About Kerry Sauriol

Mother, Blogger, Social Media Consultant.

Comments

  1. Amen! We need to know what we’re getting into, and make thoughtful decisions about the companies we support. Accepting a high-profile invitation is pretty much supporting the company, I think. If you agree with them, fine, but please do your research first.

  2. Yes To Marshall McLuhan. No to Nestle (though, sometimes, it is true, yes to the chocolate which has wider-reaching Ivory Coast-ish concerns, but one can only be so dilligent or else one becomes bat-shit crazy. er.) And a rousing bravo to your post because, yes to thinking, people! And yes to thinking out loud, in front of the children.
    p.s.: When your kids / family is ready to check it out, there is a very good (& Canadian) book called Made You Look (How Advertising Works & Why You Should Know) about marketing to kids, written with a kid’s POV in mind: http://site.annickpress.com/catalog/catalog.aspx?Title=Made+You+Look

  3. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up when I was invited to be a part of #nestlefamily. I immediately contacted a few friends for more info about Nestle’s ethic issues- wanting to be sure that things were still going on and hadn’t been resolved somehow without my knowledge. I just couldn’t align myself and my blog with the company (I totally didn’t want to get involved in what I knew was bound to happen aka hashtag drama) even if I would have been going to ask questions or call them out on the things you posted about.

    I know almost every blogger going and have to say they are good people with good intentions. There’s a very good chance that they were not aware of the controversy when they accepted their invites. Or if they were aware, I have a feeling they didn’t know the magnitude of it all.

    I do believe the event has shed light and brought forth great discussion regarding Nestle, blogging, ethics, etc here in blogs and on Twitter. I hope from here on it has a positive outcome for the bloggers attending and that Nestle will speak out on it and make a change. For the better.

    Steph

  4. This is about more than just formula marketing practices, as well; it’s also about the fact that Nestle uses chocolate produced with slave labor, supports illegal dictatorships, engages in questionable environmental practices, and is in numerous other ways ethically unsound.

    It’s kind of a pity that formula has become the center of the debate. This isn’t about whether people choose to formula feed or breast feed, but about a company’s poor ethical standards.

    I’m very proud of the bloggers who declined invites to this event, and shocked by bloggers who accepted invites even after being aware of Nestle’s practices. (And shame on the people who just took the freebies without doing a little bit of research to find out where they came from.)

  5. I personally know a handful of people that declined Nestle’s invitation due to their ethics. I get that. I really do. But I also would have loved to have some of those people whom are passionate about the subject here. To address the issues. THAT would have been powerful and not a silent protest.

  6. It never occurred to me to continue to support parts of a company before now. But it makes sense – buying the candy and not the water. Not the point of the post, but, still. Not 100% bad is all I’m saying.

    Also, I’m doing better about not being distracted by fancy packaging. And doing research as well as just accepting something because “I heard somewhere…”.

Trackbacks

  1. […] where there isn’t access to clean water, child slave labor in the chocolate industry, the bottled water), others (from both sides of the debate) turned to name calling and snark. Still others tried to […]

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