Swiss chocolatier Nestlé has written to Facebook demanding that a parody of one of its products, a malty chocolate drink called MILO, be taken down from that network and from Facebook-owned Instagram for infringing copyright.
The parody, created by Los Angeles-based artist collective The Faction to publicize Milo Yiannopoulos’s upcoming Australian tour with Ann Coulter, clearly falls within fair use. Three intellectual property lawyers consulted by DANGEROUS agreed. But Nestlé is apparently worried about being too closely associated with political conservatives, and wants the image scrubbed from the social web.
Nestlé, founded 150 years ago as the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, makes money by manipulating weak-willed people into getting fat by engineering its products to be as fiendishly addictive as possible. Its annual revenue is around $90 billion. In September 2008, it killed six babies and put another 860 in hospital by selling milk products contaminated with melamine. Over 13,000 infants got sick before the crisis was brought under control.
In 2009, over 50 people got sick, half of whom required hospitalization, when E.coli was found in cookie dough. Its Maggi noodles, sold in India, were found to have 17 times the safe limit of lead. Nestlé had to destroy over 400 million packets of noodles. Nestlé used cocoa farmed by child slaves in its products for decades, was busted for price-fixing, pursued the African country of Ethiopia for $6 million at a time of mass famine and starvation before being shamed into forgiving the debt, is constantly accused of misusing and abusing land and water resources throughout the world, has unethically marketed baby formula throughout the developing and western worlds for decades and uses fish from forced labor farms in its cat food.
Nestlé’s catalogue of corporate misdeeds is enough to turn the most battle-hardened free-marketeer into an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fangirl. The company has a shameful history of poisoning its own customers through cost-cutting and negligence, and profiting from child trafficking, slavery, deforestation and aggressive marketing to the world’s poorest people.
But it’s 2018, and the bad PR the multinational is squealing to Facebook about is a parody from a Trump-supporting conservative staging a tour on the opposite side of Planet Earth. Could any reasonable person be confused about whether the Milo tour parody is a genuine ad from the confectioner? You be the judge. (Full-sized versions of the ad in various formats are available below, by the way, for readers’ reference.)
“Personally, I can’t imagine how Australians would confuse the two,” Yiannopoulos told DANGEROUS on Sunday, recalling a line from his sell-out 2017 tour. “One Milo puts you in mind of a comforting, sticky hot liquid that oozes deliciously down the back of the throat, and the other is a powdered beverage from Nestlé.”
AUSTRALIA: YOU DESERVE THE REAL THING. ACCEPT ONLY GENUINE MILO®, COMING THIS DECEMBER. REGISTER FOR DETAILS AT www.milodownunder.com.au
14k Likes, 466 Comments – MILO (@milo.yiannopoulos) on Instagram: “AUSTRALIA: YOU DESERVE THE REAL THING. ACCEPT ONLY GENUINE MILO®, COMING THIS DECEMBER. REGISTER…”
MILO CHOCOLATE DRINK AD (square for Instagram, .jpg)
MILO CHOCOLATE DRINK AD (square for Instagram, .png)
MILO CHOCOLATE DRINK AD (rectangular for Twitter, .jpg)
MILO CHOCOLATE DRINK AD (rectangular for Twitter, .png)
MILO CHOCOLATE DRINK AD (banner for websites and Facebook, .jpg)
MILO CHOCOLATE DRINK AD (banner for websites and Facebook, .png)
Multiple requests for comment and inquiries as to the basis of Nestlé’s copyright claim went unanswered by Nestlé UK, the branch of the manufacturer which first filed the complaint with Facebook. They’re probably just mad that Yiannopoulos is the more famous Milo now. Tickets for Ann And Milo Live: Australia are available now.
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