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PR Cannot Be A Substitite for PRoduct

Nestle is hiring a PR firm to “restore its reputation amid sustained criticism on the internet.”

Really? This is a suckers bet. A agency can’t help Nestle. The only people who can help Nestle are it’s very own executives.

If NestleĀ  didn’t discourage breastfeeding and made some changes to their product line, all their bad buzz would go away. Instead they’re aiming to hire someone to sit behind the Green Curtain and try to trick people into thinking that some sort of systemic change has happened at Nestle.

I think we all know this won’t be the case.

When Nestle “reached out” to mommy bloggers and paid for a first class trip, expensive dinners and gawd knows what else, they didn’t reach out to anyone like me. Why? Because they know that moms like me don’t feed their children high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated anything and that (even though many of us used formula) breast is best.

I think it’ll be a lot of fun watching Nestle flounder, but it’s really sad that the big takeaway is to hire a publicist instead of to improve their product.

You can see the beginning of the Nestle bumbles here.

12 thoughts on “PR Cannot Be A Substitite for PRoduct”

  1. You know I love you woman but I have to respectfully disagree with your argument. Hiring a PR firm is exactly what they should do–assuming their intent is not to dissemble and spin but to get some counsel on how to repair their reputation through honest bridge-building with their consumers, critics and any other stakeholders important to them. Of course I feel that way–I’m a PR person. One with integrity–and there are plenty of others out there like me. Hope Nestle will pick the right agency. As always, thanks for shining a light on the question and inviting the debate.

    1. I think that is a big assumption to make Stephanie (“assuming their intent is not to dissemble and spin but to get some counsel on how to repair their reputation through honest bridge-building”). You need to consider that they still have a long list of unethical business practices and a strong history of lies and doublespeak. A PR company working with Nestle is like a lawyer working with a guilty client. You can hope to figure out some tactic that will get them off the hook, but you cannot make them innocent.

  2. I have heard so many times that Nestle discourages breastfeeding, this makes me sad. I am very very pro breast feeding. With that being said, I am wondering where I can get more info on this. Maybe a list of products and literature to back this up. It makes me pretty angry that anyone would EVER discourage something that is clearly the best choice for a baby and mama!

  3. I agree. I’m normally not an anti-corporate person but I think Nestle is among the worst of the worst. From its marketing practices in the developing world, to its undermining of breastfeeding, to its blind eye towards its cocoa sources…well…it takes more than a few charity programs and a mom blogger event to change that image.

    Just one note: Nestle did apparently reach out to some bloggers who would be likely to have concerns about their products. And they encouraged those bloggers to attend, even after those bloggers expressed those concerns. But those bloggers, for their own reasons, said no.

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