Blog: Hershey in Twitter backlash over Brit choco-ban
Hannah Abdulla | 28 January 2015
US fans of British chocolate imports have taken to social media to vent their frustration after Hershey earlier this week reached a settlement with an importer to stop distributing British-made candy bars into the country.
Hershey claimed LBB Imports had been importing confectionery into the US that too closely resembled three of its own brands - and three brands it locally manufactures under licence.
Part of the company's frustration was on the UK-made Cadbury, Kit Kat and Rolo lines LBB imported into the US. Hershey holds the US licence for the brands from Mondelez International and Nestle.
A spokesperson for Hershey at the time told just-food: "It is important for Hershey to protect its trademark rights and to prevent consumers from being confused or misled when they see a product name or product package that is confusingly similar to a Hershey name or trade dress."
The suit means the UK-produced Cadbury, Kit Kat and Rolo chocolates can no longer be sold in the US. That has prompted anger on social media, not least because the UK-made Cadbury and the Cadbury produced Stateside taste very different.
On Twitter, the #boycotthershey hashtag has emerged.
21st century capitalism: Someone does it better than you? Don't compete with them, ban them. Shame on Hershey's. #BoycottHershey— Thomas Azar (@ThomasAzarIII) January 27, 2015
If you're THAT worried about your product, don't you think you should be innovating rather than blocking imports? #boycotthershey— Cassie Worley (@SassyBluegrass) January 28, 2015
Even Sharon Osbourne, celebrity wife of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, had something to add:
How very dare you do this? How rude! http://t.co/lwVeUjtsLR
— Sharon Osbourne (@MrsSOsbourne) January 27, 2015
While Hershey believes it has "protected its trademark" could the move have a potentially damaging effect on sales?
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