Taking a cue from Coca Cola’s Share A Coke personalized cans, Nutella France has launched a Say It With Nutella online app that lets you create custom messages on a jar and share them via social media.


However, the marketing campaign caused a flurry of negative press once users discovered a number of words were blacklisted. The entire list of banned jargon was easily discoverable via the app’s sourcecode, reports RTL Info.


Google translation of the Twitter status: “Thanks to the campaign Nutella you also view all the topics they want to avoid”

Along with more obvious taboos such as curse words and drug terms, the words “Jewish,” “Muslim,” “homo,” and “lesbian” are blocked (although “gay” and “Christian” are not). By way of explanation, Nutella’s parent company Ferrero issued the following statement:

The negative or insulting messages were directly removed from the field of possibilities, the idea being to use the jar of Nutella as a communication medium to share enthusiasm. Similarly, words of communities that are often subject to attacks by malicious people were removed from the proposals.

Other potential hate-speech terms that cannot be used are “Hitler,” “massacre,” and “genocide,” reports The Drum.

But Ferrero is also stopping users from criticizing Nutella itself by prohibiting health-related language like “cancer,” “diabetes,” multiple spellings of “obesity” and even the word “fatso.”

It has also restricted users’ ability to talk about palm oil, a controversial ingredient in Nutella. Critics say that deforestation caused by the palm oil industry is endangering wildlife and harming the environment, but they’ll have a hard time putting that on a jar without the use of words like “oil,” “palm oil,” “boycott,” and “orangutan.”

In a bit of a marketing snafu, Nutella has actually highlighted the topics it didn’t want people to talk about, and gotten flak for restricting expression in a country where censorship recently became a hot-button topic.


[via The Daily Mail]