Just two days after the Supreme Court delivered a verdict directing the revival of the government’s case against Nestle India at the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), the company has launched a media campaign telling consumers that the controversy-ridden Maggi brand is “safe”.
Nestle India issued advertisements in several newspapers on Saturday saying “Your Maggi is Safe, Has Always Been” in a campaign that is reminiscent of the media blitz undertaken by the company during the relaunch of Maggi in 2015 after its ban was overturned.
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The current campaign comes after the Supreme Court this week directed that a three-year-old suit filed by the government be heard only on the basis of laboratory test reports by the Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru.
The government is seeking damages of Rs 640 crore for alleged unfair trade practices, false labelling and misleading advertisements of its Maggi noodles. While Nestle welcomed the SC’s move, the ad campaign is to inform consumers of the “facts”, spokespersons said.
Ahead of the campaign’s launch, company spokespersons said the company’s “approach as a credible, trustworthy and responsible company is to always communicate with consumers on facts, in a simple, clear and transparent tone and manner. What you will see in print ads to be released over the next few days is just that”.
Saturday’s ad goes on to explain why the product is safe for consumption, stating that “safety has been confirmed and reaffirmed” by labs certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
The Maggi-yellow ad also says that Nestle does not add lead to Maggi at any stage, that lead occurs naturally in the earth’s crust and is present in grains etc., and that Maggi has “consistently” cleared tests. Sources say that the ad campaign is initially planned for three days, after which consumer response will be analysed.
Media experts say that preserving the Maggi brand is of vital importance to Nestle considering its contribution to revenues and that this was one of the reasons why the company is so aggressive with ad campaigns to assure consumers. For instance, following the reversal of the FSSAI ban on Maggi in 2015 by the Bombay High Court, the company mounted a campaign across all mediums. “But, they waited until the courts had overturned the ban to release the campaign. By that time, some damage had been done. This time around, they have responded much more quickly,” an advertising expert noted.
Nestle India responds quicker this time
While media experts consider the 2015 campaign heralding the re-entry of Maggi a bit delayed, with the brand taking substantial damage before the campaign was launched, the company has responded within days of the Supreme court verdict this time around