The makers of the popular Italian chocolate hazelnut spread Nutella have come under fire for their controversial list of banned phrases. According to Pink News, the company recently launched a campaign in France called "Say It With Nutella" where users can create a a custom image of a jar with their own phrase to "share on social media." However, not all phrases are fair game.
Users discovered that alongside "swear words, drugs, and violent terms," like Hitler, the site doesn't allow the word "lesbian." The Daily Mail writes that the site does allow people to customize the jars with the phrase "gay," however. Lesbian isn't the only term banned by the site: Users who looked at the source code for the page noticed that "Muslim" and "Jewish" are also not allowed, but "Christian" reportedly is. Many health-related words like "cancer," "diabetes," and "obesity" are also prohibited, as is "palm oil" a controversial ingredient in Nutella which "reportedly threatens orangutan habitats." ("Orangutan" and "boycott" are also not allowed.)
Grâce à la campagne Nutella toi aussi découvre tous les sujets qu’ils veulent éviter http://t.co/X3lL9gw5IN pic.twitter.com/bzZrVnUpiJ— JP Cabaroc (@Cabaroc) February 24, 2015
Ferrero — the makers of Nutella — said in a statement to Pink News that they removed "words of communities that are often subject to attacks by malicious people" as well as "negative and insulting messages" to prevent people from using the campaign in a negative manner.
In 2013, another Italian food company also found itself in hot water over its attitudes towards gay and lesbian communities. Guido Barilla — the president of pasta maker Barilla — said on an Italian radio program that he would never feature same-sex couples in advertisements for the company because he only believes in "traditional families."