‘Tis the season…for scandals! With the Starbucks red cup scandal dominating the beginning of the month, it looks like Nestle will bring up the end of the month with, yet another problem.
A couple years ago, Nestle found itself in the midst of a bottled water scandal as they were seen “stealing” all of Canada’s naturally fresh water and selling it back to them. Earlier this year even, they were accused of leeching water in California in the midst of a drought to sell back to consumers. Clearly, Nestle does not have a good track record. And it gets worse.
On November 23, 2015, Nestle was caught in a slavery and coercion ring in Thailand. Last December, Nestle heard rumors about the mistreatment of the workers in the seafood industry where they purchase the majority of their fish for a variety of products. They commissioned a non-profit organization, Verite, to look into these rumors to see if there was any truth to them. And guess what? There was! (Or why would I be writing this? Ha.)
Turns out, they jumped on it and just admitted to the press that they were involved in this violation of human rights issue. This might just work for them. Being transparent in a crisis situation is key and that is exactly what Nestle did. Even though they are getting flack for raising the white flag of surrender without completely admitting that they had anything to do with it, I think it still works in their favour. They have beaten all the other companies to the punch, making them look good and potentially making their competitors look guilty.
I don’t think this latest crisis will hurt this corporate giant at all. Their scandals go all the way back to 1977 with the Nestle Baby Milk Scandal and they are still around. I think that there are just some corporate giants that refuse to fall from their gold laced beanstalks.
While I don’t agree with the practices Nestle keeps, I do believe that there has to be something to say about their PR department. They keep getting thrown to the wolves and always manage to walk out with a few scratches. Is that all based on transparency or is there something more to it? I guess we will have to just sit back and watch this scandal unfold to see how warm the water will get around Nestle’s ankles.