Alt-milk brand takes charge of its reputation with website listing all its scandals.
Swedish food company Oatly, which produces alternatives to dairy products made from oats, has created a website featuring all of the negative press it has received over the past few years.
The Fck Oatly site is a timeline of Oatly’s most high-profile controversies, including ‘Glebe-gate’ (in 2021, Oatly lost a trademark infringement lawsuit with Glebe Farm, a family-run farm which makes a product called PureOaty) and ‘The Residue Ruckus’ (the company was lambasted in 2018 for selling oat residue to pig farms as animal feed).
Other highlights include the criticism Oatly received for adding Blackstone as an investor in 2020, and the complaints about its 2021 Help Dad Help Dad campaign, which subverted father-teenager interactions to be about teens convincing dads to go plant-based.
There is also a comprehensive ‘Oldies but goldies’ list of Oatly’s longest standing controversies, such as investment from Chinese state-owned conglomerate China Resources, and rumours about the sugar content of its oat milk. Each controversy has its own webpage, complete with screenshots of interactions on social media where Oatly has replied to negative Instagram comments and tweets. The replies are in Oatly’s trademark irreverent tone of voice and often poke fun at the critics.
In an introduction to the site, Oatly explains that it is ‘devoted to helping our fans – and the thousands of people who hate us – better understand everything that’s “wrong” with our company. Why would we build such a website?’ the brand asks. ‘That’s a great question! For starters, it’s super convenient to have the latest boycotts and criticisms all in one place. But more importantly, we’re not the type of company to hide from moments like these. We see all the negative headlines, posts and petitions as an inevitable consequence of trying to create positive societal change.’
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