Kellogg’s is reaping a shitstorm on social media. The accusation: the muesli manufacturer made itself a supporter of the war. But what are the facts?
It’s a case that illustrates the danger of fake or misleading images on social media: A video shows a person walking towards a shelf of crisps in a Russian supermarket and reaching for a can of Pringles. The photo clearly shows that the packaging of the popular brand of chips bears the Russian words “taste of victory” and a picture of a ribbon with orange and black stripes. The so-called George’s Ribbon, originally a military badge for bravery, now also serves as a symbol of Russia’s support in the war of aggression against Ukraine.
Nothing about the video suggests it could be fake. Above all, this has consequences for the American company Kellogg’s. The recording sparked outrage and spread like wildfire on Twitter. The group acquired the Pringles brand from Procter & Gamble in 2012. Now the muesli manufacturer is exposed to a shitstorm.
Kellogg’s has become a war supporter, users on Twitter denounce. “I can’t believe my eyes,” wrote one person and shared the video. Does Pringles really sell its product in Russia with such a slogan? More than a million Twitter users have already seen the post.
Kellog’s out of Russia in 2022
The group’s response to the allegations shows a problem that experts have been expressing concern about since at least the Corona pandemic: false reports on the Internet. Because Kellog’s claims to have nothing to do with the product shown in the video.
“This product was not produced by us,” the company said when asked by the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (FAZ). Kellogg’s left Russia in December 2022 and sold its business to the Russian beverage and food manufacturer Chernogolovka. The group had already suspended all imports at the beginning of last year, as well as all “local investments and support, including advertising and sales promotion,” reported the “FAZ”.
So where the video came from and whether it is real or possibly a fake cannot be checked. However, the question also arises as to what could be the motivation behind such a recording and its dissemination on social channels.