Nutella, the Italian hazelnut chocolate spread craved and loved by millions around the world, has found itself at the centre of a controversy for banning a list of words including ‘Muslim’ and ‘lesbian’ on an online app which allows customers to to personalise jars with a message for loved ones.
The ‘Say it with Nutella’ campaign, which follows a similar campaign by Coca Cola last year, allows chocolate enthusiasts to have their names or messages written on a jar of the chocolate spread, which they could then share on social media.
The list included scores of words, including “Muslim”, “Nazi”, and “Jew”. Surprisingly, “Christian” was not banned. Expectantly, many words related to drugs and sex were also off limits, including “homo” and “lesbian”. Oddly, “palm oil” – an ingredient of the popular Italian spread – too was banned. All variations of the word “obesity”, with or without misspelling, were listed. “Cancer”, “fatso” and “diabetes” were also off-limits.
Ferrero, the company which produces Nutella, explained in statement that “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.”
The news comes a day after it emerged that Marks & Spencer had banned the words ‘Christ’ and ‘Jesus Christ’ from being allowed on messages sent with bouquets of flowers.