Swiss Miss


Swiss Miss

So it seems almost certain that Nestle is about to sign a substantial sponsorship with the much-maligned Alinghi AC team. Perhaps consuming too much of the sugar-food they produce has altered their brain chemistry, rendering them incapable of making sound business decisions?

Given Alinghi’s commercial associations with UBS, their complete lack of respect for the sports biggest prize, and their power-hungry manipulation of virtually anything they can twist to their advantage, one would wonder just what sort of ROI Nestle thinks they are going to get. Swiss TV commercials with that Bertarelli’s creepy moled face smiling to the kids, relaxing with a steamy cup of their sugary drink on board the big cat?  Maybe he’ll bring it over to the droning engine for a warmup, sipping hot chocolate as the computer-driven winches power the team to a resounding win.  Now that’s marketing.

We can see kids all over the world, looking at Ernie as he reclines in his leather chair that daddy’s money bought, munching on one of many fine Nestle sugar products, saying "Mommy, mommy, I want to be just like him! Please buy me lots and lots of wonderful Nestle’s packaged food-stuff products! And I want to be a world-famous yachtsman, just like him. Is our daddy rich enough?" No? Mommy, I’m coming down from my sugar high now, and I don’t think I like you very much any more. Have you seen the scissors…?"

With the coming match potentially sailed just an Arabian Peninsula away from Africa, the public will no doubt be reminded of Nestle’s history of exploitation of the continent that led to the largest and longest-running product boycott in history.  Nestle was first called a "baby-killer" back in 1973, and health organizations and infant advocacy groups continue to accuse the baby formula manufacturer of unethical practices in the marketing of their formula to undeveloped countries even today; and the boycott continues.  Read the whole sordid history of Nestle’s baby killing legacy here.

Maybe Nestle and Bertarelli are two peas in a pod, after all.