As the UEFA Euro 2016 fever increases rapidly these days, it seems a suitable moment for a lot of international companies to invest time and money in promoting their products through this major sports event as a way of increasing profits. In this regard, a popular chocolate brand named Kinder decided to –occasionally- change their packaging with childhood pictures of German national football players of a migrant-origin, instead of the original blond-haired, blue eyed boy.
A nice piece of marketing strategy, right? Right?! Well, not exactly according to far-right and the anti-Islam movement Pegida. They have expressed their outrage and anger at the use of these diversity pictures as a marketing practice. On their regional Facebook page, we can witness the following comments: “They’ll stop at nothing. . . “; “Can you really buy them like this, or is this a joke?”; “They’re trying to brainwash us to consider this s*** as normal. Poor Germany” (see image). On top of these extreme comments, a boycott has been suggested until the Kinder ‘bosses have come to their senses’.
Meanwhile, as this case received international news attention and coverage, Kinder’s parent company Ferrero did not hesitate to condemn Pegida’s outburst of rage with the following statement: “We at Ferrero would like to distance ourselves from any form of xenophobia or discrimination”. Later on, it also added: “We don’t accept or tolerate this in our Facebook communities either”. A message that Pegida received loud and clear.