Blog: Ferrero sees sense after Nutella sugar rush
Dean Best | 23 May 2013
Would your company issue a cease and desist letter to one of its biggest fans? That's what Ferrero did. However, in a last-ditch outbreak of common sense, it withdrew its attack on someone who has promoted Nutella worldwide.
The Italy-based confectionery giant sent Sara Rosso, the founder and promoter of the annual World Nutella Day (which seeks to "celebrate" the spread brand), the letter, ordering the blogger to stop the event.
It was a bizarre action. Rosso has held the event seven times to hail "Italy’s edible treasure". A website, nutelladay.com, suggests recipes for the chocolate spread. Nutella Day's Twitter feed has over 6,000 followers. The day's Facebook page has more than 35,000 fans. It is, in a day and age when brand owners are struggling to harness social media (and work out how to resource it), a marketer's dream.
Ferrero, the intensely private food group, has seen sense and pulled the suit. But not after putting pressure on Rosso. "They asked me to take down the site because they consider it to be an unauthorized use of their intellectual property and trademarks—the Nutella logo and brand," Rosso told Bloomberg Businessweek in an article posted by the publication on Tuesday.
However, Ferrero quickly saw sense. "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," the company told just-food.
"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. The case arose from a routine brand defense procedure that was activated as a result of some misuse of the Nutella brand on the fan page.
"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."
With the rise of social media, brand owners do need to watch how its logos and brands are used. However, Ferrero has done its peers a favour in showing them how not to act.
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