Regular readers of this blog - which surely includes Nestlé - will know that we have prepared a website called "Nestlé's actions speak louder than its words", containing information from experts on different aspects of Nestlé's business. I've been writing about the site here since the beginning of August. You will also know that the site is to be launched on Saturday 4 October, the start of International Nestlé-Free Week.
What I can now tell you is that Nestlé's lawyers wrote to us last week threatening legal action over the site and demanding that we hand over the domain name to Nestlé by today, 29 September. So I've been a little distracted from writing this blog and other promotion for International Nestlé-Free Week. Which is surely the point of this being dropped on us with a deadline just days before the official launch of the site. Nestlé was using the pretence that the site was "passing off" as being from the company, yet as it stated its purpose clearly and directed people to Nestlé's own site, this is absurd and the launch goes ahead using the domain name:
Of greater concern is why Nestlé demanded the domain name. Perhaps to cost the campaign money in reprinting leaflets and re-doing websites. However, the domain name has only been publicised on this blog to date and the metadata for use in search engine listings makes it clear that it gives concerns about Nestlé practices. So anyone visiting the site will be well aware it is a campaign site. And that is the danger I see. If Nestlé takes over the domain name, we don't know what it would put on the site. Consider the fact that in Switzerland at the moment the media is full of the story of Nestlé hiring someone to pose as a campaigner to gain sensitive and confidential information from those with concerns about Nestlé and you will understand why I am worried about what Nestlé - or its secret agents - might put on the domain.
So we've replied to Nestlé's lawyers by their deadline of today explaining that we are not handing over the domain.
If Nestlé was genuinely concerned people might be confused by the domain name we were using, then that has been addressed with us publicising nestlecritics.org for the launch. If they continue to pursue their claim for the original domain then we will fight it because if anyone has genuine reason to fear the domain might be used to mislead people, then it is campaigners.
For additional information see the entry on the Nestlé Critics website - and bookmark it or subscribe to the RSS feed to keep updated on the wider concerns about Nestlé practices.