Hold Your Hazelnuts: World Nutella Day Will Go On
Hold your hazelnuts, and pick up your spoons. The makers of Nutella say World Nutella Day will live on after all.
Ferrero, Nutella's parent company, announced today that it reversed last week's decision to stop blogger and World Nutella Day founder Sara Rosso from hosting the annual celebration of the beloved Italian snack food.
Ferrero's statement said that the cease and desist letter was a "routine brand defense procedure" in response to "misuse of the Nutella brand on the fan page."
Image: Marcus Brandt/ZUMA Press
Rosso announced earlier this week that she would close up the hazelnut holiday shop-- the World Nutella Day site, as well as Twitter and Facebook accounts--on May 25 in compliance with Ferrero's wishes.
The cease and desist letter was a bit of a surprise and a disappointment, as over the years I’ve had contact and positive experiences with several employees of Ferrero, SpA., and with their public relations and brand strategy consultants, and I’ve always tried to collaborate and work together in the spirit and goodwill of a fan-run celebration of a spread I (to this day) still eat.
Rosso started World Nutella Day in 2007 with what she says were a few hundred food bloggers, and it's now expanded to other social media platforms. The Facebook page has more than 40,000 likes, and there are almost 6,900 Twitter followers.
"There have been songs sung about it, short films created for it, poems written for it, recipes tested for it, and photos taken for it," Rosso said on the website.
General reaction to Ferrero's cease and desist was a big "what the Nutella?" Bloggers, marketers, and Tweeters wondered why a brand would slap down a brand advocate for creating and helping to sustain an annual celebration of their product, adding annually to Nutella's already sizable digital footprint. What were they thinking?
From the World Nutella Day Facebook page:
Stupid company. The backlash they're going to get will be--ahem--nuts.
When world Nutella Day is outlawed, only outlaws will celebrate world Nutella day! Cease & desist? How bout I cease & desist buying Ferrero products?!?
Fortunately I have a nice little stash at the moment, so I can wean myself off gradually. But when it's gone, I'm gone!
Whatever they were thinking, Ferrero rethought it. Rosso also posted today that it was all sorted out.
I’m relieved to say there’s been a positive resolution to the situation. Ferrero employees reached out to me directly after I had posted my fan letter online and sent my formal reply to their C&D. They were very gracious and supportive and we were able to have a productive discussion about World Nutella Day living on for the fans, which is the whole point.
Also, no, it wasn't a hoax. No, she was not compensated by Ferrero and never has been. No, she will not release the cease and desist letter. And most importantly, mark February 5, 2014 on your calendar if you're a devotee. That's next year's World Nutella Day, and it's totally legal. Here are some Nutella recipe ideas, in case you want to celebrate early. Sara's own Nutella Mascarpone Chocolate Cream Tarts, maybe?