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Nutella Public Relations Retail

Nutella backs down and embraces fan’s ‘World Nutella Day’

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By Steven Raeburn | N/A

May 22, 2013 | 4 min read

Nutella’s parent company Ferrero has retreated from an explosive social media backlash after it issued a cease and desist notice to an enthusiastic Nutella fan, who had initiated her own Nutella Day celebrations and marked it annually since 2007.

Sara Rosso, Nutella fan

Her World Nutella Day Facebook page had previously benefitted from more than 40,000 likes.

However, after Ferrero’s actions drew heavy criticism on social media, the company backed down and has now embraced the unexpected word of mouth marketing success.

“Positive direct contact between Ferrero and Sara Rosso, owner of the non-official Nutella fan page World Nutella Day, has brought an end to the case,” Ferrero said.

“Ferrero would like to express to Sara Rosso its sincere gratitude for her passion for Nutella, gratitude which is extended to all fans of the World Nutella Day.”

Nutella blamed the initial cease and desist reaction on “a routine brand defense procedure that was activated as a result of some misuse of the Nutella brand on the fan page.”

Its statement added: “Ferrero is pleased to announce that today, after contacting Sara Rosso and finding together the appropriate solutions, it immediately stopped the previous action.

“Ferrero considers itself fortunate to have such devoted and loyal fans of its Nutella spread, like Sara Rosso.”

Rosso has accepted the reconciliation and aims to continue celebrating her World Nutella Day each year.

“I believe they were truly interested in resolving the situation in a way that preserved the spirit of the fan-run holiday,” she said.

“I’m satisfied with the turn of events, and I hope to celebrate many more World Nutella Days with you.”

Vuki Vujasinovic of Click PR in Sydney told The Drum that he thought Ferrero/Nutella have “done what I would consider to be the right thing.”

“What they initially tried to do was a huge misstep,” he told The Drum.

“The beauty of social media and open communication is that you can build a community around your brand. They had basically hit the jackpot with Sara Rosso, and could have worked closely with her to make her an official brand ambassador, rather than trying to stop her.”

Rufus Spiller, Creative Director at Precedent Communications agreed that Nutella “had gone the sensible (and least likely to end in a denial of service attack) route and backed down.”

“As with all brands dealing with fan tribute activity it is in the marketing departments interest to find ways to encourage participation rather than try to stamp it out,” he told The Drum.

“Try to offer the fan assets that they can use to ‘enhance their tribute’ and thereby nudging the tribute on brand. Use it as research into the public perception of the produce through social media measurement tools and sentiment analysis.

“Any cease and desist action is going to damage the brand as very few of the public will have sympathy for the corporation crushing the spirit of the lone fan.”

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