Nestlé - sponsoring good causes as it tries to improve its image and divert criticism
Nestlé and Netmums
watch 10 March 2005: Nestlé CEO shames biz world
chocolate as an aid to intelligence in Russian schools -
download our A4 briefing paper to show the depths to which
Nestlé will sink to boost sales amongst children.
Nestlé and Fairtrade
Nestlé Box Tops for Education
Club Make Space Initiative promotes Nestlé 'Trust'
Help the Aged promoting Nestlé 'Build-Up'
one of the companies which pioneered sponsoring good causes
to divert attention from malpractice elsewhere (see the Cornerhouse
of Consent - Uncovering Corporate PR). What is sometimes
referred to as 'corporate social responsibility' is known in
business circles as 'cause related marketing'.
recent years we have witnessed increased 'cause related marketing'
activity from Nestlé, following a damning ruling against the company's claims. In May 1999 the UK Advertising
Standards Authority upheld all of Baby Milk Action's complaints
against a Nestlé anti-boycott advertisement in which
the company claimed to market infant formula "ethically
and responsibly." Nestlé's claims did not stand
up to scrutiny. They still don't. It's aggressive baby food
marketing practices are contributing to the unnecessary death
and suffering of infants around the world.
of changing its marketing practices, Nestlé decided to
follow the advice of the Public Relations firm Saatchi and Saatchi,
which suggested the company should advertise the money it gives
to good causes to generate good-will towards the company (see
press release 5 November
enough, Nestlé is being generous with its cheque book.
And it is attempting to undermine the boycott by boasting of
its "partnerships" with the organisations it is funding.
charities accept money from Nestlé unwittingly. Sometimes
they think they will do good work with the money and any impact
on the baby milk campaign is not their concern. Sometimes Nestlé's
denials and deception do their trick and, without contacting
Baby Milk Action, charities believe Nestlé has changed.
the Charity Commissioners warned of the dangers of entering
into ill-considered "partnerships" (see Update
The beauty of the boycott is it provides an opportunity to
expose Nestlé malpractice whenever Nestlé is on
On this page we will highlight the organisations and events
sponsored by Nestlé. Send information to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will provide the information so that boycott supporters
can voice their concern.
shames biz world - 10 March 2005
'giving back to the community' is all about public relations
what Nestlé's payback will be - increased sales and
while Nestlé is boasting about how
much it is doing to help
victims of the Asian Tsunami, it is also lobbying the
government of Sri
Lanka for the right to increase milk prices. Prices
have already become too
expensive for many people since Nestlé and two other
up the market between them. You can hear more about
the destruction of the
Sri Lankan dairy industry by Nestlé and its partners
in the broadcast
Box Tops for Education
Is your school considering
promoting Nestlé's cereals at your school? Click
here for details of how to campaign to stop it. Most Nestlé
cereals are criticised by nutrition experts as being unhealthy,
so this is not just about the boycott.
Club Make Space Initiative promotes Nestlé 'Trust'
Kids' Club Network
was one of the organisations to benefit from Nestlé's
attempts to buy good publicity following the 'public relations
disaster' of the Advertising Standards Authority ruling against
the company when it received a £250,000 contract specifically
linked to promoting Nescafé, the principal target of
the boycott (see press release
5 November 1999).
Recently a new deal
has been announced where Nestlé is sponsoring Kids' Club
Make Space initiative with a £1.2 million 'development
fund'. Materials for the initiative bear the logo 'Nestlé
Trust' and press releases prominently mention Nestlé
and quote UK Chief Executive, Alastair Sykes, at length. The
initiative involves providing support services to independent
groups around the contry, some of which are deeply disturbed
by the Nestlé link. Press releases produced for these
groups similarly promote Nestlé's involvement in the
initiative and quote Mr. Sykes.
Without a hint of
irony, Make Space says
on its website: "Its great to see a major
corporation like Nestlé taking such an innovative and
positive approach to young people. Young people are, after all,
our future and investment now will be repaid with better citizens
and better communities."
This statement is shockingly insensitive to the infants and
parents who have suffered as a result of Nestlé's aggressive
promotion of breastmilk substitutes.
|The Make Space initiative has the laudable
aim of supporting a network of clubs around the country
where young people can meet and relax. In such deals it
is usually a condition that Nestlé support be prominently
mentioned in materials (the logos on the left appear on
the Make Space materials). However, there is no reason why
Make Space clubs cannot otherwise be Nestlé-free
zones supporting the Nestlé boycott and campaigning
for a change of sponsor.
Baby Milk Action can provide posters and materials for display
and within the scope of the activities of the club would be
happy to provide a video or speaker on the baby milk campaign.
It may even be possible to arrange a debate between Nestlé
management and Baby Milk Action at the club so that young people
can make up their own minds on the baby milk issue. (See the
'contact us' form).
In an article in
Third Sector Magazine (5th March 2003), it was suggested
that Make Space had conducted a survey and found that none of
their target group had concerns about Nestlé. This was
misleading as the survey only asked questions about the initiative
and did not ask if Nestlé, a company contributing to
the death and suffering of infants around the world, is a suitable
sponsor. We are aware from the number of school children and
students that contact us and the strength of support for the
boycott in schools and universities, that Nestlé's activities
are a serious concern for young people.
We have contacted
Harris Beider, Campaign Director of Make Space, and he has asked
that people with complaints about the Nestlé link make
these known to the organisation.
You can call their
helpline on 0207 522 6960 or email: email@example.com
Also see http://www.makespace.org.uk/
the Aged promoting Nestlé 'Build-Up'
Baby Milk Action
has been contacted by people concerned about the link between
Help the Aged and Nestlé, which includes the promotion
of Nestlé 'Build-Up' products.
Regarding the baby
milk issue, Help the Aged has stated to Baby Milk Action: "During
our early negotiations with Nestlé, the Company's compliance
with the WHO Code was an issue which we considered seriously
and addressed to our satisfaction with Nestlé and other
Baby Milk Action
was not included in this process. We are disappointed that Help
the Aged should be satisfied with Nestlé's record when
others, such as UNICEF, governments and courts are not. Nestlé's
claims do not stand up to scrutiny, as the 1999 Advertising
Standards Authority ruling against Nestlé shows.
We would like to
know your opinions of the link between Nestlé and Help
the Aged. Has it influenced your view of either organisation?
If you are a boycotter, do you object to Help the Aged promoting
Nestlé nutritional products on its 'Healthy Eating' leaflet?
(See the 'contact us' form).
Help the Aged can
be contacted on 020 7278 1114, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information
on the valuable work carried out by Help the Aged, see the site
For an insight into
how charities such as Help the Aged present sponsorship as a
marketing opportunity see the section http://www.helptheaged.org.uk/Corporate/