The company had tried to communicate that it was now using photo sharing program Instagram by posting an image of a man in a bear suit playing drums on its Kit-Kat Facebook page with the caption “Kit-Kat is now on Instagram”.
The infamous ‘Pedo Bear’
Internet users were quick to point out the bear’s similarity to ‘Pedo-Bear’, a carton bear used in internet forums such as 4Chan to point out when a user has uploaded content that depicts inappropriate images of children.
Maurice Gunnell, manager, corporate services Nestlé New Zealand told ConfectioneryNews.com:
"The picture is not pedo-bear. We had never heard of pedo-bear. But when the possibility of its similarity to the so-called ‘pedo-bear’ was raised with us, we immediately removed it.”
Nestlé has come under further criticism for its use of the bear in other message forums, which have likened the Kit-Kat drum playing bear to Cadbury adverts, which feature a gorilla playing the drums.
Nestlé blunder is not the first time big companies have fallen victim to marketing images similar to the so-called ‘pedo-bear’.
Technology firm Apple chose to remove a ‘Cuddle Bear” iPhone app that featured a dancing bear that looked identical to the notorious paedophilic bear during the summer of last year.
Careful Facebook marketing
Nestlé has previously been accused of being too protectionist on its social media pages.
It was blasted in 2010, after a moderator told Facebook fans to stop using altered images of the company logo. In the same year its Facebook pages were attacked by Greenpeace over the firm’s use of palm oil.
Another food and drink company slipping up on social media was Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy when in March this year it posted an image on its Facebook page showing a man grabbing a terrified woman with the caption “Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly”.
The company came under attack for seeming to advocate rape and later apologised.