Nestle Family blogger event from a participant PDF Print E-mail
Written by OHmommy   
Friday, 02 October 2009 02:37

(Edited 10-2-09 to include video)

 

I don't have to write this. In fact I don't have to mention anything about my recent trip to LA.

Nevertheless, the events of the last three days (search twitter for #nestlefamily) have shaped me as a blogger, consumer and most importantly as a mother so it's crucial for me to document things from my own perspective.

As a blogger, I get dozens upon dozens of PR pitches each day that clog up my inbox and nearly all of them get deleted even before I click to open the body. There are two criterias I have that will determine whether or not I spend a minute of my day reading their pitch. Number one, they must address me by my proper name and show some sign of actually taking the time to look over my blog. Number two, it must come from a company that fits with my lifestyle. For example, I used disposal diapers and therefore would not accept a trip to be part of a focus group for a cloth diaper company. My long time dedicated readers, who forever have a place in my heart, come to hear my real voice and I would never give them less. So when Nestle contacted me inviting me to be a part of a "focus group" of bloggers for their Nestle Family event I said yes after peeking inside the expansive pantry of my suburban abode exposing many of their products. Nestle was/is a part of our everyday lives.

As a consumer, I agreed to take part of the Nestle Family blogger event (Nestle paid for hotel/flight expenses wanting nothing in exchange) knowing very well that some of the company's ethics were questionable therefore I took a pro-active stance and decided this was an ideal opportunity for me to approach the company with questions. Before agreeing to the travel commitment, nervous as this was my first time being approached by a big company, I telephoned a friend whose husband works for the corporation in Cleveland prying her for more information. She calmed my nerves saying that not only was it a legit offer but that the company treated it's staff with the utmost class and surely it would do the same for a handful of parenting bloggers. I. Did. My. Research. I wanted to learn, ask a lot and come back with more information as a concerned consumer who tries hard to stay away from processed foods.

As a mother, I took this trip to demonstrate to my children that their little stay at home mommy with a tiny blog could in fact make a small difference in the world. I wanted to teach them that their lives would not crumble if I took some days off from my duties. I told them that the dot com is interested in knowing what they thought of new products tested by them because their opinions are valuable and influential. I told them that I had questions to ask. I needed to let them know that ordinary people can make extraordinary differences. I know that they are proud of me just as the children of many 50's house wives like "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" who entered jingles from major corporations bringing home prizes that paid off their hard work.

Only. Times have changed. The passionate hobbyist. The concerned consumer. The talented mother. Can no longer accept a 'free" trip to learn more about a company without a backlash from her own community of mothers in the age of the Internet. Where ethics can be rightfully researched and debated. Which in a perfect Utopian society sounds beautiful except for not-so-much in the modern day of social media where self proclaimed "ists" off all kinds used the words "join us on the bashing" "selling soul to the devil" "racists" "uneducated mothers being used" to describe a harmless focus group gathered to voice opinions at the US headquarters of the world's largest food corporation.

The woman in charge of Juicy Juice cringed when I tweeted that I prefer Mott's For Tots since it was diluted with water but listened to my suggestions. The mother of three, who is incredibly into nutrition, in Nestle baking carefully paused when I asked her if she served frozen Stouffer meals to her family only for her to reply that each year they remove more sodium and never add preservatives and it still beats a fast food option. The educated mother in charge of chocolates willingly allowed me to videotape her answer to the questions my twitter followers had about child slave labors laws in regard to chocolate. The CEO of the company sat three feet before me as we asked questions about advertising formula in third world countries.

I don't have to write this. However, I'm incredibly proud and know that my family is too.

Not many mothers can add "making the world's largest food corporation think during Q and A's" to their resume as a SAHM. In my heart of hearts, I know, that Nestle listened to all of our opinions. I saw before my own eyes a room full of people diligently taking notes. I heard very-important-people thank us for our eye opening input. I witnessed even-more-important-people acknowledge the fact that social media is important. I can not even begin to put in words to describe just how much Nestle cared about everything.

Today as a consumer, blogger and a mother I am very happy knowing that my opinions/suggestions were heard in person. Without a doubt I believe that Nestle listened. I am quite eager to go home in the morning and introduce my family to some awesome new products (I haved packed lots of goodies to share with you too).  Tomorrow I will forget the mean spiritied words some of the fellow members of my "community" plastered over the Internet because I know I was part of a good thing.

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 October 2009 12:04
 

Comments  

 
# Allie 2009-10-02 02:58
Thank you for asking those questions, I am sure it wasn't easy and good for you for doing it.
 
 
# Scary Mommy 2009-10-02 03:03
What an experience that must have been. I got a headache just reading about it on Twitter! Good for you, P. Thank you for your honesty.
 
 
# dysfunctional mom 2009-10-02 03:05
You handled it admirably and with class, as anyone who knows you wouldve expected.
 
 
# Lisa 2009-10-02 06:41
Sounds like a great experience for everyone involved. I respect how you go into everything you do 100% - you're a class act!
 
 
# Kim 2009-10-02 06:48
Being sick sure has its advantages..I missed the whole twitter melt down regarding this.. But just from posts I have seen on the web it was ugly..

I know two things.. You will never ever please everyone.. and there will always be haters on every subject.

Sounds like a wonderful experience..
 
 
# jen 2009-10-02 06:59
thank you ... for taking that opportunity and running with it. for thinking ahead and realizing the whys of doing what you are doing.
so glad it was you ... and not me ... i probably would have just sat there eating the chocolate in the back row.
 
 
# Krissy 2009-10-02 07:12
It is not just your family who is proud of you! You showed all SAHM's that we still have opinions even though we clean toilets and chauffeur children around. Sometimes I forget that I have a voice, and it can be heard without screaming and yelling.

I cannot help to wonder if the people who debated your intentions were really looking for out for their family or if they just need to pick every single thing apart because they are so negative. They have a war ahead of them if they need to over analyze someone else s choices.

Just my opinion. Good job Classy Mom!!!!!
 
 
# ClassyFabSarah 2009-10-02 07:15
Bravo to you. Nestle is a part of my family's everyday life too, so I'm excited to hear about the things you saw and heard on your trip.

I'm sorry that people had to take a good experience and make it feel bad.
 
 
# lceel 2009-10-02 07:35
I hear the faint echoes of jealous rants here. I was unaware of the Twitter stuff. I seldom go there - I don't really have the time. But I wonder how many of the people who willingly did the bashing were quietly saying to themselves, "How come she gets to go and not me?"

And I can answer that question. I can.

Because Pauline has class. Pure and simple.
 
 
# melissa from girlyma 2009-10-02 07:37
i was following that chaos and i'm sorry it ended up being so crazy! another reminder that you can never make everyone happy, i guess.
it sounded like a terrific opportunity and like nestle handled themselves very well. kudos to nestle for listening to some "uneducated mothers" for their opinions.

thank you for handling this so well and showing the rest of us mommybloggers how to stand up to the haters. you have class, girl!
 
 
# Cita Online 2009-10-02 07:54
Congratulations, OhMommy. You took a challenging situation, and got something amazing out of it. Amazing. Have a great Friday!!
 
 
# HaB 2009-10-02 07:55
Bravo to you Pauline!!! BRAVO!!!

What it boils down to is RESPECTING each other even if we do not agree with the choices and decisions that each of us make as moms for our individual families..We are all smart, intelligent, hardworking women - both inside the home and out - and we can't seem to respect each other? Some of us got our panties in a bunch over a group of us wanting to learn more and effect change in the largest food corporation in the world? That backlash on twitter and the meanness that went with it almost made me ashamed even call myself a mommy blogger the other day.

Thank you for raising your voice above the crowd, asking questions for us - not just the easy questions but the hard ones as well. And, most importantly, thank you for sharing this opportunity with all us - here on your blog in in real time on Twitter.
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-02 08:23
I have said from the start that I am not bashing the bloggers and assuming they either did not know, knew and rejected the claims thinking they had evidence to the contrary, or knew and believed and were hoping to make a difference.

I keep hearing this meme that the bloggers were being bashed. I saw a lot of bashing of Nestle but little of the bloggers. What I did see about the bloggers generally came from people who were not mom bloggers--many were also not moms or parents and some weren't even bloggers. They were twitter trolls, nothing more. Unfortunately they distracted from the issues at hand and upset some bloggers.

Which is not to let the group that went entirely off the hook. I saw some very insensitive tweets from one or two of them as well. Trivializing or, worse, mocking issues like child labor for a photo opportunity with the Nestle Quick bunny? That I cannot defend.

And while Nestle was very evasive and vague about its answers, I do feel there is value in asking the questions...again and again and again.

I do hope that the bloggers on this trip (or at least the ones I know and respect) will do the research and take it into consideration when writing about Nestle.

I would also argue that issues like child slavery or misleading medical marketing claims should be part of the equation when considering whether or not a brand is a fit and whether or not you wish to accept their offer.
 
 
# Crystal D 2009-10-02 08:34
Excellent post P. I following the #nestlefamily twitter with much interest during your time there. I know there were some passionate opinions on the formula marketing discussion, but they were lost in all of the nastiness. Thank you for keeping it classy and sharing your experience with us.
Have a safe trip home.
 
 
# Suburban Princess 2009-10-02 08:39
Great post!
Make your haters your motovaters!

It is interesting that you mention the 50's housewives - they were who companies made their products for and it is nice to see once again companies are turning back to that. There are so many moms and housewives these days, we need to be listened to!
 
 
# Christine 2009-10-02 08:48
Beautiful post, Pauline... I couldn't have said any of it better.

It is truly amazing to know that we were an active part of a *very* good thing. The lessons learned are valuable, the difference we made evident, but new friendships formed - priceless.

I am proud to now have the privilege of calling you friend! mwah!!
 
 
# Texan Mama 2009-10-02 08:51
Wow, interesting perspective Pauline.

So, since I could only follow twitter so much (there was a lot of tweeting going on!) did other mothers bash you for taking a trip to LA? I don't get that.

And, I wonder what the perspective on formula is from women who have never visited outside the US. Women who've never gone to Africa and seen babies die because their mothers were too malnourished themselves to produce breastmilk. Women more concerned with a baby getting breastmilk than a baby getting nutrients. That's so sad to me. A baby needs healthy food. Education is so important, but we can't educate people who are dead from malnutrition.

Okay, off on a tangent there. Sorry! Glad you had a productive trip. Your kids must think you're amazing!!!
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-02 09:40
You seem very nice and I can see where logic might lead you to this conclusion...but the science supports the opposite.

Even a very malnourished woman can usually produce breastmilk. And in these third world countries, the formula is overly diluted with unclean water. And surely the mom would be better nourished if she bought food, instead of formula. Far more babies would live if their moms breastfed in these countries.

This has nothing to do with breastmilk versus formula or a woman's choice to use formula, or moms who can't breastfeed. It is about a health crisis of epidemic proportions in which babies are dying of dysentery or starving to death.

Again, you seem lovely and I see the logic behind your arguments, but if you just check out WHO or the UN or Google the issue and click only on reputable sources, I think you'll see that what I am saying is true.
 
 
# Texan Mama 2009-10-03 23:46
Candace, you are right, I have not checked out WHO or the UN on this subject. My information came only from my friend who lives in a rural village in Migori, Kenya. She explained that many women's diet consists of 1) beans, and 2) a paste made from flour and water. That's it. So they are malnourished and they lose their breastmilk. Now, I've never been to Africa, so I don't have any first-hand experience. But I would think that if a woman can't afford anything beyond flour and beans, they probably aren't purchasing formula either.

But, again, I have no first-hand knowledge. I only have the words of a close friend to tell me her story.
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-04 00:15
I try, very hard, to be objective and stick to the facts. I've never accused you of anything.

Your anecdote is compelling and I do appreciate your sharing it. Certainly there is poverty and it is devastating.

I am a little confused about when you talk about them not being able to purchase formula...because that is part of the objection to Nestle & other company's marketing practices--the distribution of just a little free formula and then nothing. And now the milk is gone and then what...? With what will she feed her baby?

My point was that if the mother is buying some formula and diluting it, the better advice is that she would get better nutrition for herself and her baby if she were feeding herself. That's why many rural moms practiced extended breastfeeding during the depression in the United States.

However, again, I am not speaking in anecdotes--first hand, second hand, or otherwise.

I am talking about science, statistics, and public health. Most women can breastfeed, even if malnourished. And breastfeeding exclusively also reduces fertility--another benefit in areas where overpopulation puts more stress on the food supply.

That more babies would survive if breastfeeding were once again the norm is very much supported by the science.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-02 18:48
Someone tweeted, "Join us on the bashing going on at the #nestlefamily bloggers" Some people took things they were passionate about started to "bash" us calling us things like sell outs and uneducated and what not. These were not trolls but MOTHERS that blog, who were very angry that we supported Nestle.
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-02 20:17
I have not seen these but of course I did not look at the entire giant twitter stream.

I understand not stooping to someone's level or giving them publicity...but I would love to see these tweets so I can make sure I'm not following these people. There's no excuse for personal attacks like this.
 
 
# Don Mills Diva 2009-10-02 09:22
YAY for YOU!

People who rant and rave about others selling out are generally those who have never been given the opportunity to do so.

I say go forth leverage your talent and your hard work for the good of others AND for the good of your family.

As usual, you're a class act all the way.
 
 
# Annie PhDinParenting 2009-10-02 09:45
I do appreciate you asking those questions.

That said, I am cynical. I am cynical because people have been asking Nestle these questions for 3 decades and while they tweak their message and their PR spin and may make some minor "feel good" changes to their practices, the vast majority of significant legitimate concerns are not acted upon.

Listening and taking action are two very different things in my books.

I am compiling a list of questions to send to Nestle this weekend about my concerns. I look forward to their replies. I will post their replies (if they answer) and reply to them on my blog.
 
 
# tracey 2009-10-02 09:46
I didn't see the Twitter bash fest. I won't go look, either. I can guess what it was like.

Whether or not I agree with Nestle has nothing to do with what you were doing there. We cannot change the way things are done with merely protests and angry You Tube videos. In order to CHANGE companies, we need to look them in their eyes and speak WITH them. That sounds like what you were doing. I'm very proud of you, hon. :)
 
 
# Krystyn 2009-10-02 10:08
I'm glad you stuck to your guns and you pressed them...and you let them know your honest opinions even if it wasn't what they wanted to hear:)

PS We do juicy juice, but we just always water it down...I guess I feel like we get more bang for our buck:)
 
 
# TRACI 2009-10-02 10:25
Imma quitter. I quit twitter and seeing what it can become makes me glad for my decision. Eff them and anything nasty they have to say.
 
 
# DE Heather 2009-10-02 11:19
Glad to hear that you had a wonderful, yet informative (for you and Nestle) time. I can't wait to see what goodies you brought back-I love hearing about new products!

We too use Juicy Juice, but that's because of the bigger boxes for my middle schooler. I, myself, would really prefer if she drank water, but I have to pick my battles I guess.
 
 
# Ashlie- Mommycosm 2009-10-02 11:24
I'm glad I had a busy week and didn't get to read all the brouhaha on twitter. I noticed it, but didn't have time to see what it was all about.

Thanks for this. And GO YOU for asking all the tough questions:) Looking forward to reading about the goodies you brought back.
 
 
# ImBeingHeldHostage 2009-10-02 11:57
You always have my respect and I appreciate your diligence! (So glad that I have limited Tweeting access where I'm at now so I missed it when things got hairy)
 
 
# Tiaras & Tantrums 2009-10-02 12:33
Yeah for you! I hear your voice loud and clear! I don't even know what all the "nonsense" is about!
 
 
# Chiloe 2009-10-02 12:36
I thought about it and I think you're right: if nobody goes and asks the questions up front, then why to complain about what they are doing . In an internet age, when readers read lots of blogs, I do believe it can change things; not all but it can make changes little by little .
 
 
# Stephanie 2009-10-02 12:48
Shame on anyone who said something ugly. They were just jealous you got a free trip to LA. ;o) I kid. But seriously, shame on them. Have they ever heard, "If you can't say anything nice don't say it at all?"
 
 
# Jamie 2009-10-02 13:21
As a mother, I took this trip to demonstrate to my children that their little stay at home mommy with a tiny blog could in fact make a small difference in the world.

GO YOU!

You are a class act. :)

I'm not against people voicing dissidence, but they so often seem to make asses out of themselves. Ugh.
 
 
# TAMI 2009-10-02 13:48
Pauline I don't follow twitter but sounds like quite the uproar. I loved your questions and answers. I worked for a marketing company that did the research groups and they really do care about the public opinion. I have seen many companies that took the opinions and incorporated them and changed things because of those opinions.
 
 
# schmutzie 2009-10-02 14:09
This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday - fivestarfriday.com/.../...
 
 
# Jane 2009-10-02 15:17
Good for you! I am somewhat new to Blog World and I have been stunned (I don't know why) at the judgemental bloggers out there. Whenever people are critical of others I remember the phrase "Be kinder than necessary because everyone is fighting their own private battle." Now you weren't fighting a battle - but you certainly had your own agenda - and an admirable one, at that. So I say again, Good for you!
 
 
# 3 Peanuts 2009-10-02 15:18
Oh P...I am proud of you.. YOU are making a difference. And to those who say mean things....they just are unhappy in their own lives i really have come to learn that.
 
 
# Kate Coveny Hood 2009-10-02 15:18
I don't really understand the attitude flying around about accepting "free stuff". I could care less. That's the way the world works, and all of the vitriol sounds more like a case of the have nots against the haves (at least to me).

Even if you didn't go to make a difference, I wouldn't judge. If you simply thought it sounded like fun and didn't bother to do any research I wouldn't judge. If they also paid you for your time, allowing you to build an addition on your house and hire full time butlers for each famiy member - I STILL wouldn't judge.

It's up to the reader to do their research. If you really respect the blogger that you're reading, then you shouldn't have to question their ethics or intentions. If you start to question...then maybe you should stop reading.

I respect you OHMommy, and you don't need to explain yourself to me. But I do apprecatiate the update on your trip and what you felt you were able to contribute.
 
 
# peter 2009-10-02 15:23
I do not mean this to be derogatory but its a lot more easy to dupe bloggers than scientists. They may have listened to you but that is small price to pay for you 'bigging them up'

IMO you have been drawn into their PR scheme hook line and sinker! I agree with Cadence - go to a reputable source.
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-02 18:35
The two are not mutually exclusive, Peter. There are blogger scientists, you know. I even know of a mom blogger scientist.

Please avoid generalizations and also mocking someone's typing or spelling skills when you know what they meant.

And those in glass houses...should check the names of the people they reference. I agree with much of what I believe you are saying...but remember when you visit someone on their home turf, especially someone who is nice, that you may get further if you don't act like you own the place.
 
 
# Krista 2009-10-02 15:36
I don't know why people find it necessary to say mean things and insult people - for no good reason at all. Don't listen to them. You're a great mother, a great blogger, and a great friend. I'm glad you had a good time, and I hope you post pictures soon! :)
 
 
# peter 2009-10-02 18:21
Krista, Seems as though I may be missing something here. Are all these comments pointed at me? I started out by saying it was not meant to be derogatory and I have not said one mean word. It certainly is no insult - just a recognition of peoples skills.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-02 18:41
No Peter. These comments are not pointed to you at all.

I think, my readers are just responding to the direct few tweets I received while in LA. Which have been deleted.

I struggled whether to write this or not. But felt I needed to since a few very great readers of mine emailed me personally to tell me they were disappointed in me. I wanted to explain.
 
 
# Krista 2009-10-03 22:18
It did not have anything to do with you, Peter. Pauline was correct, I was referring to the unnecessary and rude tweets sent by others. I will never understand why some people find it necessary to insult and degrade people, simply because they have differing views. I apologize if my comment sounded like it was directed towards you; it was not.

P.S. Pauline, you still rock. And I still have that eye twitch... :)
 
 
# Krissy 2009-10-02 16:28
I have read many reputable sights and I will say that the information also has many speculative and opinionated facts to support the diversity. Most of the information forgets to mention what strides Nestle has made. Visit more reputable sights that are not biased and you will find that Nestle has donated millions to third world countries and are feverishly trying to be pro active. And the scientific facts that are stated are really just matter of opinions. And there may be a number of babies suffering but there are also a number of babies surviving with the help of Nestle and other big corporations. For example. Vaccinations have been scientifically proved that they are effective AND harmful. From Wikipedia: A fact is a pragmatic truth, a statement that can, at least in theory, be checked and confirmed. Facts are often contrasted with opinions and beliefs, statements which are held to be true, but are not amenable to pragmatic confirmation.

I do not disagree with the statement that this is a healthcare epidemic however I will not say that Nestle has not approached this problem with a pro active approach and it is a matter of opinions if they should be boycotted or not. And I do respect the beliefs of those who are not supporters of Nestle but feel that the same respect should be returned. And by spewing mean and disrespectful comments towards Pauline is shameful. Your opinions are more meaningful when approached in a non aggressive way, like some did.
 
 
# peter 2009-10-02 18:26
Krissy

(1) Teach yourself what a homophone is - I think you'll have a laugh when you find out what you wrote unwittingly in your reply

(2) The point I made was of Nestle manipulating bloggers - not of the actual boycott cause itself.
 
 
# Krissy 2009-10-03 01:15
Peter....

I guess hooked on phonics didn't work for me! Thanks for pointing it out.

I am very aware of what you were pointing towards and I don't want to bruise your ego or anything but my post was not about your post. Sorry. It was a generalization and to be perfectly honest with you, your response was comical too.

I would be happy to hear your points about what was said while at Nestle headquarters these last few days. You were there, right???
 
 
# Annie PhDinParenting 2009-10-02 18:42
@Krissy: What reputable sites are you referring to? Could you provide me with links to websites not owned by Nestle that are supportive of what Nestle is doing in this regard?
 
 
# vegas710 2009-10-02 19:07
Hi Annie, I've been searching around just since this started on Twitter and have found some articles that talk about Nestle's charitable giving. I will try and put together a list for you. It was actually pretty easy to enter "Nestle" into Google news search and find more recent articles than the negative ones that were being linked on twitter. Many of the articles referenced there were 5+ years old. Nestle has made a lot of changes even in that time.
My husband works in an industry that is frequently vilified by popular culture. As a result I know two things: the people at Nestle are PEOPLE and there is often more to the story than is being reported by the critics.
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-02 20:13
I'm sure Nestle engages in charitable giving--but how does that answer the accusations against Nestle?

This Forbes article discusses the status as of 2006: www.forbes.com/forbes/2006/0424/096.html

If Nestle has taken concrete steps since then (not signing pledges, joining groups, but real action) to ensure slave labor is not used in production of its cocoa supply, I will stand corrected, informed, and much more pleased with the state of the world.
 
 
# vegas710 2009-10-02 20:55
One I found was from just this year, when they stopped buying milk from Mugabe. It's not perfect yet but it's getting better and I think it's a good thing to keep asking the questions and keep pressuring companies to act with greater purpose.
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-02 21:36
Apparently that is from yesterday and the reports are just being published--so I did not know about it until now:

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8286226.stm

That is good news!

It seems to be more an example of why activists groups are right to keep the pressure on than of a change by Nestle.
 
 
# Krissy 2009-10-03 01:18
Annie....

You can use bing.com and yahoo.com as well. Type Nestle diversity, Nestle contributions, and Nestle baby formula.

Your welcome.
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-03 09:09
Nestle's corporate giving is not being called into question. Its marketing practices are. Show us the links where Nestle has stopped putting false medical claims on its labels, stopped violating the WHO code in countries where it is law, and stopped using sources that use slave labor.
 
 
# melissa 2009-10-02 17:59
this, my friend, is why you are a class act. period.
 
 
# Bridgete 2009-10-02 18:21
Excellent post! I am so proud of all of the bloggers I sat with as we asked the hard questions. I truely feel like we made a difference.

I have so much respect for all of the wonderful bloggers. You guys rock!
 
 
# Zoeyjane 2009-10-02 18:35
I knew you'd have something valuable to say and your own specific reason for going. And what you've expressed and other commenters have said is why I wrote my post: you deserved respect for even being in the room and attempting to engage the company, and offensive comments or people who would try to tell you that you were wrong for being there in the first place had no class.

love.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-02 18:42
I caught your post in my reader at the hotel the other night. I have enjoyed reading the comments there as well.
 
 
# WeaselMomma 2009-10-02 18:38
Congrats on reaching a level with your blog to attract such interests and opportunity for experiences. I'm sorry that all of you who attended experienced the angry/crazy twitter comments that you did. our family has much reason to be proud of all of your accomplishments and the way you handled the entire situation. I hope you also were able to enjoy a few days break from your dayjob.
 
 
# vegas710 2009-10-02 19:10
Bravo on this post and on going and actually asking the tough questions. How many people would have the courage to do that face to face? I'm not sure that I would!
 
 
# vegas710 2009-10-02 19:12
Do you have that video posted somewhere?
(this one)
The educated mother in charge of chocolates willingly allowed me to videotape her answer to the questions my twitter followers had about child slave labors laws in regard to chocolate
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-02 19:35
Yes. Im currently working on my imovie and might post it up over the weekend.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-02 23:31
Just posted it.
 
 
# Chrissy 2009-10-02 19:33
Wow...i guess this hit some nerves. It's funny though - are we not all allowed our opinions? Bravo to you for having an opinion and stating it. If people want to have a different one...bravo to them. I guess that's what's great about this world...educate yourself...have an opinion...live your life. Don't trash other people or act better than other people. Congrats P...very well written post! You rock!
 
 
# MOMMY-MOMO 2009-10-02 19:57
Very well written! I saw all this go down on twitter and was confused? I was thinking good for you guys. a free trip to LEARN more about a company. I'd do it. I dont understand why so many moms where so mad? If they didnt agree then they dont have to buy their products. if they were offered the opportunity they could of turned it down. But to bash other Mom bloggers for going? I dont understand that?
 
 
# Wendy 2009-10-02 20:05
Well, if anything come out of this, I found you on twitter to be able to follow you! awesome post, well said.
@myflydays
 
 
# Melissa 2009-10-02 20:06
In the end, it is only the opinion of you and the people close to you that really matters! You rock for asking the "important" questions! Great post.
 
 
# that_danielle 2009-10-02 20:17
Just curious, and I don't mean this in any condescending way... have you ever worked in corporate America or with executives in any capacity? I'm glad that you asked tough questions of the Nestle execs but if you think you made "the world's largest food corporation think during Q and A's," you are forgetting or not realizing that you are not the first people to ask them these questions nor the last -- their words and reactions may smack of sincerity but they are professional marketers who have heard it all before and have an answer that seems genuine but is rehearsed.

Don't believe me? When people go on a job interview and respond to the "what is your greatest weakness" question with the typical "I'm a perfectionist" response, do you think the interviewer hasn't heard it a million times, actually believes it or doesn't realize that it's a safe answer designed to make a flaw look like a asset?

From what I understand, Nestle has refused to engage or participate with watchdog groups like Baby Milk Action or IBFAN, so I don't expect them to be 100% honest or forthcoming with anyone else. Besides, they know that you're going to report back with what they said. They might have responded in a way that satisfied you but every company has two answers for every question: the truth and what they tell the outside world which sounds like it could be the truth but isn't.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-02 23:47
No. I've never worked in corporate America and I am pretty sure that the majority of SAHM haven't either.

I was a teacher. And when answering interview questions I always pointed out that my weakness was being early. I blogged about that just last month.

From what I understand, Nestle has severed their relationships with some African farms that made it in the news just yesterday.

Perhaps they said things that satisfied me. For after my trip, I am satisfied with the answers and professionalism that they exhibited.

Just like many of America is satisfied with the current governments answers. Perhaps we are all puppets? Don't get me started on politics.

Because, "They might have responded in a way that satisfied you but every company has two answers for every question: the truth and what they tell the outside world which sounds like it could be the truth but isn't."

That's just all politics.
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-03 09:20
I was a teacher as well (apropos of nothing).

Anyway, I think part of the issue is that unless you are trained to do so or are REALLY cynical or familiar with certain code words, it is tough to know which follow-up questions to ask.

A small enough example, but I understand that there is a 1-800 line that was given to the bloggers as an example of "breastfeeding support"--but it isn't. They have "trained" people but trained in what, by whom? Turns out they aren't lactation consultants and they aren't there to help with breastfeeding...but to discuss "food and tolerance issues". If you weren't given time to follow-up or did not notice how evasive the original answers were, you could easily miss that.

I don't think Nestle *needs* to have a breastfeeding support line. I'm just disappointed they tried to tell you (the bloggers) that there was one when there really wasn't.

With the slavery, they talk about pledges and pacts, but they don't mention that these were signed years ago and they have taken no concrete steps.

From your original post, I thought you were planning to research the issues further--but you just said you were satisfied with the answers you gave. If you do more digging, I'm curious as to what you find.
 
 
# KARENMEG 2009-10-02 20:24
Pauline, I am so glad you posted this; I have been so out of touch re: twitter (and blogging even) so this was probably a good thing.

Bravo to you for attending that event and asking the questions. The cynics may say that this is part of a PR exercise, but even so, you certainly have a mind of your own, you have a right to form your own opinion and this was an opportunity to get to the source.

So proud of you for going and for posting.
 
 
# Deb 2009-10-02 20:30
I think that you are very right, we are learning about what it means to be in social media right now. It's awkward. For example, companies say that they are having "focus groups" but the content that we see on Twitter is rarely that. It always starts with "Company X is Awesome!" and then continues with the fun and photogenic things people are being taught or see on a tour. So it doesn't feel like a focus group, it feels like PR. Maybe trips shouldn't be tweeted or promoted on pages like Nestle had that make it look like attendees are spokespeople? Maybe companies held in such poor regard by the public can't succeed in the social media space? I think we have a lot to figure out.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-02 23:59
First off Deb, your post tickled me pink. You have a talent.

More so, you are right. When companies include "mommy bloggers" in focus groups very aware that they will tweet sweet nothings throughout they should perhaps not promote them on pages censoring tweets highlighting "Company X is awesome!" Candy coating the situation.

I was not a spokesperson through my tweets. I think that companies can succeed through social media. I think that this event opened up many eyes and hope that it is not taking two steps back.
 
 
# Mom101 2009-10-03 14:54
I've followed this all with great interest. I agree that you and the other participants have handled yourselves with great grace and diplomacy and you should be proud. I love that corporate America is reaching out to bloggers. I work in both worlds and I think it's awesome.

What's challenging, I think, is what Deb is saying - you are not actually a focus group. A focus group is purely for research. I've sat behind the glass in hundreds of focus groups (including ones for Nestle!) and the participants are not given a hashtag to use on Twitter.

My understanding is that you all signed some pretty comprehensive contracts giving rights to use your likeness, your twitter streams, videos of you, and so forth. This means you are now public advocates of the brand. Nestle is referring to you as "The Nestle Family Bloggers." That's an endorsement. And I believe you gave your permission for it.

socialmedia.com/.../...

I honestly take no side in this debate, except to say that maybe people need to think harder about what they're signing when they engage with marketers. There's no free trip. If this is a brand you love and can get behind, more power to you. But I sense you and Nestle had different goals here.
 
 
# Annie PhDinParenting 2009-10-06 12:39
@Mom101: I some how missed this comment earlier, but you and Deb both hit the nail on the head here.
 
 
# jill 2009-10-02 21:08
In a day and age where social media is booming and really DOES impact our lives (hey, even the State Dept is starting to realize it), it shocks me that people are so dismayed your weekend in LA.

The fact is, you were contacted because you have a voice, an opinion, an outlet. Whether or not anything comes out of it remains to be seen ... at least they are taking the steps in the right direction. It has to start somewhere, eh?

And as someone who LIVES in a 3rd world country and SEES these malnourished babies, kids, adults, elderly on a daily basis ... who has her window tapped on the way to school every single day for money or food ... who knows that the average income here is LESS than $1 a day ... who sees where these people live and wouldn't let their dog go NEAR there for fear of some serious diseases ... well, let's just say that your opinion of breast milk vs formula takes on an entirely new meaning.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-03 00:00
You are going to stop at that Jill? Tell us more....
 
 
# Clarkinfestedwaters 2009-10-02 21:18
You rock! What a wonderful opportunity for you and your family. You have every right to be proud!

No matter who you are or what you do...some will agree/some won't...some will like it/some will hate it...some you will piss off/some you will befriend...so be it. As long as you can sleep at night...that's all that matters. Good for you!
 
 
# Jordyn 2009-10-02 21:34
Don't you think they want you to think they care? That's what they wanted out of this. Look how much Nestle cares.... I don't buy it. I'm sorry to tell you I don't buy any of this. You didn't have to do this - but you did. Nestle got the job done.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-03 00:05
I didn't "have" to do this, for sure. I wanted to and am glad I did. I'm not asking you to "buy it" at all. That wasn't my goal.
 
 
# Audrey 2009-10-02 21:34
I completely missed the Twitter drama. However, I'm glad you were there asking hard questions on behalf of the rest of us mommy bloggers. Kudos to you & thanks for reporting back to all of us. I, for one, certainly appreciate it! :)
 
 
# Managed Chaos 2009-10-02 21:46
You're one tough, smart, and classy lady my friend. One who seriously researched and considered the decision to attend and then participated with class and integrity. You should be proud of the excample you have set for your children.
 
 
# Loukia 2009-10-02 22:00
You are smart and classy, Pauline. I heart you! And I'm glad you went. I loved this post. And I especially liked seeing your children happy to be reunited with you again! That was so sweet.
 
 
# Amy Bellgardt 2009-10-02 22:40
Pauline-

What a great recap of the event. I think you took the words right out of my head & mouth. I SO agree and already miss you. :)
 
 
# Tara R. 2009-10-02 22:45
I was bothered by how ugly and off topic some of the Twitter threads got over this issue. I thought it was an excellent opportunity to ask those important questions, instead it became a feeding frenzy. I was impressed by the grace with which you handled yourself. Certainly classy.
 
 
# ShredderFeeder 2009-10-02 22:56
Corporations have but one interest. The survival of the corporation and the garnering of profits.

If you think that *ANY* of this was anything but their own attempts at A> Gaining free marketing (they got that in spades) and B> Furthering their self-interest... Well you're wrong.

I didn't buy Nestle products, not out of concern for the boycot, but mostly because I think for the most parts their chocolate is third-rate at best.

On doing some reading, mostly prompted by the whole twit-storm that erupted over their latest attempts and PR and damage control, it simply reinforces my decision.

More than anything I'm concerned at their seeming low opinion of the blogger population in general. They took the whole lot of you for a ride, fed you a line of crap, and exepcted (and in most cases got) people spreading their marketing message far and wide.

FOR FREE.

As a blogger your income is almost solely dependent on advertising, yet here you are, giving it away for free.

You are apparently EXACTLY what Nestle needed.
 
 
# ShredderFeeder 2009-10-02 22:57
Just as an FYI - Pauline - the *YOU* in the above comment is plural/general.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-03 00:13
NEWSFLASH: I don't make anything off of advertising on my blog. As a blogger I am not in this to make money but only to fill the need of daily exercises to use my brain and communicate while staying at home. Which... NEWSFLASH could be very boring at times. What I do hope that comes out of my blog? Is a job. Somewhere at someplace I can hand them my SAHM resume of 7 years and show them that I have done an incredible job.

Speaking to the CEO of Nestle as a SAHM mom is one awesome addition to my resume. Apparently Nestle is what I needed.

Anyone hiring?
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-03 00:25
Not at all meant to sound pretentious. There are just so many people hiding behind their computers refusing to speak one-on-one with CEOS after we encouraged it on our trip.

Wishing more people take a pro-active stance and make their voices heard. It's a very cool thing.
 
 
# Tiffany 2009-10-07 10:35
I am a very pro-active blogger. In this case I would have pro-actively refused to go on said trip and associate my name with an unethical company. Sometimes it is not what we do say but what we WON'T say and can't be paid to say that is the louder statement.
 
 
# Julie B. 2009-10-02 23:15
I loved the homecoming video! How sweet!

Have to agree with your tweets, those frozen hand ice cubes are cool!

I'm ashamed to say I knew nothing about the Nestle "practices" before the twitterstorm. I wish I could say it would change my buying practices, but I would find that hypocritical to every other manufactured item I buy that has origins of questionable corporate tactics and I'm sure there are many.

Didn't do all the reading, but can I just stay clear of the formula and chocolate and be PC because Stouffers is our guilty pleasure!
 
 
# Karie 2009-10-03 00:30
Okay, so the bloggers who were chosen are being bashed because Nestle got a bad wrap for attempting to help unindustrialized third world countries by providing food and formula to mothers that turned bad because those countries are filled with corruption, socialism, some communism and that is your fault? I commend you for asking the questions, that is a tough situation but you did it with class and professionalism.

I think these people who are bashing are just out to trample. Are they out there raising funds for these corrupt, poor countries? Are they donating? Are they donating time? Water for the formula? Bottles? NO! They are just bitching and causing a storm. Good for you for enjoying yourself and finding out great info for your family and possibly for the world about the controversial issues. Great post!!
 
 
# Krissy 2009-10-03 01:25
Perfectly said.
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-03 09:03
What makes you think people protesting nestle don't volunteer extensively? I know I do.

And don't think Nestle is attempting to help 3rd World countries through food and formula. The point is that these women used to breastfeed. Then they were told the formula was better and would protect their children (a false medical claim). When they use the formula, there are problems--mainly the lack of safe water and that once free samples run out, the formula is too costly and moms dilute it too much.

Without the formula, the babies wouldn't starve, they would be breastfed.
 
 
# vegas710 2009-10-03 10:36
30 years ago we were ALL told formula was better, they don't do that anymore. I'm learning a lot from the protesters but it gets really confusing when you talk about stuff that's not current. The complaints I see today, on the reports from IBFAN are nowhere near what you claim in that comment. They point to things like what is written on the actual can itself but them complain that the women can't read. So what's the danger of what's written on the can? Nestle provides brand info to doctors who are required to follow the WHO codes. If the doctors don't follow the WHO codes, IBFAN blames Nestle.
Nestle's not perfect but I've read everything the boycotters have shown me, plus things I found on my own and I can't find evidence that they are the villains you make them out to be.
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-03 11:09
I don't get too into the formula issue--I'm more concerned with the slavery issue. HOWEVER, you write "Protects" in big letters, you have nurses telling the moms that is what it says, etc.

I'm sure you realize there are different levels of being literate. Even if you can't follow written directions, you might recognize a word or two...or have that word read to you by doctors.

I agree that it is not like Nestle is single-handedly tearing down a utopia. But the fact remains that these women used to breastfeed and now, due to aggressive marketing, they do not. That may not matter much in the US, UK but in the 3rd world it does increase avoidable infant mortality.

Nestle may not have lit this fire, but they are pouring gasoline on it.
 
 
# Tamara 2009-10-04 00:22
So.....if I {at home} use diluted unsafe water for formula ... that is Nestle's problem???!

After all, I seen an ad in the paper, and it was forceful marketing....

Famine and living conditions are the govt's problem...not Nestle's.
Tweet the gov't, this anti-Nestle crap is getting old!
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-06 12:48
@Tamara

Informed choice is a beautiful thing. Choice without resources, education, fair marketing practices (i.e. not allowing false medical claims), or alternatives is an illusion.
 
 
# J9 2009-10-04 08:47
Karie! You said what I was thinking. So easy to sit and bitch rather than to do something...ANYTHING, like this blogger did.

Great way to sum it up. Vote with your feet, don't like Nestle, don't buy their products. Want to make things better? Put the mouse down, step away from the computer and go do something that will help. Harassing this blogger is not exactly helping the cause. Critics, get over your selves.
 
 
# jill 2009-10-03 01:34
I am well aware of the issues that plague selling and marketing baby formula in a 3rd world country - and they stem far deeper than the Nestle (or any other formula manufacturer) is concerned.

The problems exist in these societies... in the Governments... in the caste systems... in the education.

Unless you LIVE in a 3rd world country - and that does not include spending 2 weeks doing a windshield tour of the Taj Mahal and such - you can not begin to understand these issues. Period. I live them... and have done so now for the past 14 months... and even still, I have trouble articulating what it's really like.

While Indians are often seen in the States as educated, come here and walk up and down my streets, where you'll see thousands of homeless people urinating and defacating on the sidewalk (right in front of you!!) because they don't know that they should hide their bottoms. They eat food that isn't hygienic, drink water that hasn't been distilled, drive on motorcycles with their wife and 3 kids while not wearing helmets, and they don't know any better. You should see the campaigns here now for safer sex and reducing the amount of HIV.
 
 
# jill 2009-10-03 01:44
Yes, mothers of infants here in India probably can not read the English (or any other of the Indian languages printed on the can of the formula) label on the back. They don't understand sterilizing their bottles. They try to stretch the use of the powdered formula because, the fact is they HAVE food for their babies.

Want to know about prenatal care - go back through my blog and see why I had to leave to have my baby in the States... Have a laugh about the printed materials provided by the so-called OB/GYN state that it's okay for mothers to eat colored vegetables... that their babies will not be born green or orange. Or what it was like to give blood ... Watch the National Geographic documentaries on the funkiest babies being born ... two headed babies or hearts on the outside of their bodies. Most of them are from India.

While I do generalize my statements here, my point is that there is a far deeper issue at hand. Wanna see for yourself? My house is always open...
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-03 07:57
THANK YOU JILL!!!!!!!!!

Is it same to assume that the majority of Americans have never traveled to third world countries and can not even begin to imagine the circumstances?

Changing a few things from a company's standpoint, although a good start, would not even begin to make a difference without the involvement of major governmental help.

"There is a far deeper issue at hand"
 
 
# vegas710 2009-10-03 10:25
This is what I was trying to get at as well. It seems formula marketing has been a problem but honestly, that was during a time when even in America, doctors were telling women that formula was better than breastmilk. The marketing issues aren't nearly what they were and whne I read the documentation of code violations it all sounds nit-picky and the language used makes it clear that the watchdog groups are anti-formula in general. The PROBLEM is poverty, corrupt governments, lack of clean water, lack of education. I *wish* corporations would be the ones to fix it but it's not their responsibility. I agree with the idea that we should pressure large corporations to use ethical business practices and to use the weight of there size to help end things like cacao farming slavery, but making this all about Nestle is ridiculous.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-03 14:38
Good point: "The PROBLEM is poverty, corrupt governments, lack of clean water, lack of education. I *wish* corporations would be the ones to fix it but it's not their responsibility."

For example, our government does not allow child slaves, right? We can help other countries in many ways to stop from such things happening. In a perfect world, it would be nice for corporations to help as well.
 
 
# Stephanie Smirnov 2009-10-03 07:29
Good for you. Some of the world's largest marketers are my clients and you know what? The DO listen to you guys. I can't speak to how they fielded questions about Nestle marketing practices in developing countries -- I don't work with Nestle so wouldn't know. What I do know is that mom bloggers are hugely important to marketers today, at least the ones I work with. Guess what (my client) P&G's mantra was for many years? "The Consumer is Boss." So never underestimate your influence. And damn right you -- and your family -- should be proud of what you're doing.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-03 14:40
Thanks. SO many people would disagree with you though. I have read all over the web people calling us "uneducated" "used" "buying into conspiracy" and what not.
 
 
# amy 2009-10-03 07:33
Pauline I am so glad I know you! I am sorry the tweeters bashed..I didn't follow and nor will I look at it though curious. I read this past week from Connnie Schultz on her column regarding the anomynous comments left on the web by faceless people who bash or leave venomous comments and how on her Facebook page the same people, who now have a face, leave the similar comments though veiled in sweetness. The tone and way of writing unveiled the person of the anomynous posts and she called them up on it and pointed out that now she knew who they were. The point is ...don't back down from who you are. OHMOMMY!!! you rock!
 
 
# Jessica Bryan 2009-10-03 07:34
P, Kudos to you for taking the trip, listening, reacting, questioning, and formulating your own opinion. It is so disheartening to me to hear so many nasty comments attacking the women who actually took the step to go. Quite a bit of misdirected hostility. EVERY company has its faults and highlights. What I have seen from the twitter and commentary is lots of hostile comments with reference to "sources" but no specifics, quotes, dated support. I am not taking blame away from Corporate America...but people would listen with more of an open mind if opinions/commentary from the general public had specific support. It is an amazing opportunity to sit down in a small group setting with the CEO of Nestle.
I def. think that is a credible bullet on your life-long resume. I am jealous!
 
 
# kakaty 2009-10-03 08:04
I saw this whole thing evolve on twitter into a major bad PR storm, and you and the other blogs were caught in the middle. In all honesty, when I heard about Nestle Family I thought nothing good or bad about the company (except holy cow! that product list is huge!!! how could anyone avoid all that they produce even if you wanted to?). What made me mad about the whole episode (in addition to people attacking you and the other blogger for the company's transgressions) is that Nestle sat back and let you guys be in the middle of it for a good long time. They know they have a huge group that don't like them and are very vocal about it on the internet (at least they SHOULD). I know the "blogger junket" as PR vehicle is ever-evolving but someone at Nestle and their PR firm fell down on the job here. They should have taken steps before the event to better control the conversation.

I think you bloggers did a great job to trying to turn the negative into positive by giving voice to the concerns of others - it sucks that you had to get trapped in the middle of the company and their (passionate) haters and that the company was so slow take over the reigns of defending themselves and the bloggers.
 
 
# Toni 2009-10-03 08:20
What a beautiful post, no toping this I think LOL. You said everything so perfectly and I for one have and still do love nestle if not even more than before.
 
 
# Chrissy 2009-10-03 08:35
Oh my gosh - i can't believe someone just asked if you had ever worked in corporate america! How rude! Just because we're mommies...doesn't mean we didn' thave jobs before this!! I worked in corporate america and it was an empty hole. People that all stabbed each other in the back to get places - not a lot of people with any creativity, not a lot of people with their own ideas...and NO not a lot of people speaking up for what was right or questioning anything. P - you speak up WAY more than anyone i had ever worked with in corporate america...you show more creativity...so don't listen to people being ridiculous about how you don't know how to question people since you're just a stay at home...
 
 
# Renny 2009-10-03 09:58
I don't do twitter, too much technology for little me, so I have no idea what people said about you. I do know that people are really dumb sometimes. Part of the reason I don't do twitter is because I think a lot of people say things online that they'd never say in real life, and I'm not okay with that. I'm glad you went to LA. I like Nestle, they make good stuff. And if you could become an educated consumer and voice some of your concerns then you have the right to do that.
This post also made me want a cookie :)
 
 
# toyfoto 2009-10-03 13:26
I know you think you made a difference. And you might have, but I don't think it's one of true value. You say the Juicy Juice lady cringed when you mentioned you preferred Motts for Tots because it was watered down. .. That's when I cringed. You told her you would pay more for less juice. You could water it down for free. You are paying a premium for water.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-03 14:47
I would pay more for diluted juice in a box for the convenience factor. I actually told her I don't even look at the price of Motts for Tots because it's the only product like that on the market.

It might not be a difference of "true value" to you or others but it was only one panel regarding juices. I know for busy moms on the go in middle class America they pay more for products that ease life. I know my friends do. I am not a cloth diaper, granola crunching, earth saving type of mom and neither are my friends.
 
 
# Krissy 2009-10-03 13:54
I really think that the good of this is that it is bringing out awareness for both opposed and non opposed parties. I do not fail to see that there is issues with child labor and inhumane violations. But realistically, the reason I bring forth the fact that nestle contributes and donates to the third world counties is because of this reason. The first thing the government budget cuts on is education and health care. If education was a priority, it would help cease some of the child labor issues. So. By Nestle giving sums of money to the government, they are contributing to education. We all have our opinions and who is to say which one is right or wrong. We could beat each other up all day long. My opinion is that if we cut the head of the snake off, which for me is the government, we could solve this issue way sooner then boycotting Nestle, Kraft, Hershey and many other large industries. Because simply said, if these industries did not exist, millions of people in America would be without jobs and we would have the same issues as third world countries.

I simply think the government is responsible and the industries take the blame. My opinion. You may disagree which is your given right but name calling, condescending each other and cruelty will not lessen the problem.
Candace, thank you for being constructive instead of destructive. You never once were rude or mean. Kudos to you.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-03 14:52
"If education was a priority, it would help cease some of the child labor issues."

YES! Good point Krissy. I spoke to someone at USAID yesterday morning on the phone and they said that many of the children work on their family farm or for money because there is no way they can go to school. It's not enforced and they can't afford to it or get to it.

That is a huge problem.
 
 
# Krissy 2009-10-03 19:24
In which the reason for no education or the lack of education is the government. The government cuts funds from education and health care, which correct me if I am wrong, is pretty much all about this discussion against Nestle??? Malnourished moms and babies, by the way. A lot of the moms cannot breastfeed because they are not healthy enough too. I was one of those moms in AMERICA. I produced no milk because of health issues. It happens more then people think. But again, the real problem is the government. And what entertains me the most is everyone has a gripe but no one has a realistic solution. Even if Nestle was to buy from small individual farms, chances are their children are slaving away and NOT getting an education there either. And New Zealand was stating that they were free from child labor. They were not.

Where shall we suggest Nestle get their cocoa from??? I'm not being cynical...I would love someone to answer that. What realistic option is there that wouldn't bankrupt a huge amount of large industries and consequently lay off millions of workers?? Again, power thinking here....what could be done???
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-03 20:54
The number of women, even malnourished ones, who cannot lactate is very small.

I don't think anyone is laying the blame for all of the 3rd World's ills at Nestle's feet. Rather, it is a question of whether or not its practices are ethical.

Nestle is a major player in the world cocoa market. If they demanded that plantations were not using slave labor, and were willing to pay for it, then a market would arise to meet that increased demand.

This will not bankrupt anyone--though it may increase the price of chocolate a little. And if I have to pay more for chocolate and eat a little less, I'm okay with that.

One of the ironic things about my participation in this debate is that I am a capitalist. And fairly libertarian. And generally pro-business.

My concern is companies that make products with misleading or downright false medical claims or purchase materials from sources that use slave labor (not merely low-wage, but actual slaves).

And when they are called on it, they reply with pledges signed, pacts joined, and promises made--but show no concrete steps in the right direction.
 
 
# vegas710 2009-10-03 21:06
Krissy, it sounds like you are saying that a little slave labor is just the way it is and no big deal. But it's not about kids working the family farm, it's about buying and selling children, beating and starving them.
I can't find much fault with Nestle for its formula marketing. There used to be a problem, no question, but what I see today is mostly speculation and nitpicking. However, cacao slave labor is real. I'm not boycotting Nestle because I don't think the effort it requires from me is worth the very little gain in this fight. Nestle is getting better, they have stopped buying from Mugabe, they are working with other companies to find ways to ensure the cacao is not harvested by slaves. Without the support of the foreign governments, they can't do it alone. We petition our government and the foreign governments. We pressure major media outlets to cover the Ivory Coast and the cacao farms. And we write letters to Nestle and M&M Mars and Hersheys letting them know we expect them to continue working toward fairly harvested cacao.
 
 
# Krissy 2009-10-03 21:38
If I sounded like a little slave labor is no big deal then I am truly sorry as it is a big deal. Or are there assumptions that I am pro child slavery because I am not shaking my fists at Nestle or agreeing with the opposing side? Either way, I'm sorry you feel that way about me.

Candace, I see where you are going and I do agree with some of your arguments but my experience and education of malnourished woman and woman with health issues does cause for breastfeeding problems. Obviously, having my heart ripped out when I was told I couldn't breastfeed lead me to educate myself further. I'm sure you can understand why. And I cannot say I agree with your thoughts of that. Sorry. :o(

Again, it is a matter of where we each get our facts and which are more accurate.

Pauline, I really admire you for standing strong and not allowing negative naysayers and people assuming your motives were not well thought out deter your involvement. You are a very well educated lady and a class act. I don't know how you did it because truthfully, I am spent and feel completely beat up and thrown to the dogs over this.

I'll see ya on your next post sweetie. And I just love ya doll. :o)
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-03 22:52
I hate making other people's arguments but I don't think that is what she was saying. I think she was saying that you seem to be arguing that it is so systemic that there is nothing we can do about it.

As to my statements, for the record, Krissy, I am not saying that heath issues do not cause breastfeeding problems. I am saying that the vast majority of women, statistically speaking, can breastfeed.

For the fact that you wished to, and could not, and that this caused you pain due to either insensitivity from others or your own hopes, I am deeply sorry to hear this.

I hope that you have come to a good place about this. You do sound like a wonderful person and please know that I do not place any judgment on any mother who does not breastfeed, for any reason. I know that some cannot, and many choose not to...and I never presume to know another mama's individual circumstances. Nor do I presume to tell her what is best in her situation.
 
 
# Rose RedNeckWitch 2009-10-03 14:45
Thank you for holding your own, maintaining your dignity, checking on your morality, and ethics, and leaving a decent blog entry to show that some of us bloggers do not act with a mob mentality.
Kudos to you! And thank you from the rest of us SAHM's.
~RNW
 
 
# anymommy 2009-10-03 14:46
Whew. You're a class act, P. I'm so glad you went, I've learned tons from your, zoey's and other rational discussions.
 
 
# toyfoto 2009-10-03 14:56
Respectfully, I know lots of busy moms on-the-go whose grocery bills have gone up two and three-times what they were last year. I know busy moms whose incomes haven't kept pace with inflation. I also believe we're not as different as you think we are -- us granola folks and you convenience shoppers. Sustainability, or lack there of, will put us on a level playing field one day. And then Nestle will have to figure out how we can afford to ensure its next profit report increases.

Of course, I'll admit, that's my opinion.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-03 15:06
I just put two-and-two together and realized your name from my flickr. LOVE your photos.

The panel was all about juice and what we would change. Next to lowering sugars and adding more veggies/fruits the thing that came up was convenience factors. The price of that will always be more. Has been and will be. My bills have gone up dramatically since the kids are getting older and our income is the same.

I think people on the opposite sides are very different. I don't understand many things about "granola folks" and it's apparent on twitter and the blogosphere that they can not understand me. That's what makes the world an interesting place.
 
 
# Justine 2009-10-03 22:17
Quoting toyfoto:
*SNIP* I also believe we're not as different as you think we are -- us granola folks and you convenience shoppers. *SNIP*


Granola folks vs. convenience shoppers. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?! Does the already-divisive-mommyhood need to be splintered into smaller more marginalized subsets of righteousness?

Pauline, this is a great post. Very dignified and thoughtful.

I fear that the #Nestlefamily twit-storm will sadly scare off other companies from trying to engage bloggers in direct dialogue.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-03 22:26
I totally agree with you Justine. I think it will scare off companies, no doubt.

As for the granola vs convenience shoppers... I have to really apologize for that hastily made comment of mine to ToyFoto. Many of the people that have tweeted bitter nothings to me have had bios proclaiming "granola crunching mommy of blah-blah" and it makes me wonder. I am SO not like that. I present myself online JUST like I do in real life. Many people that have met me say "You are just like I imagined you were" which to me is the biggest compliment. SO. Yeah... I dont baby wear, cloth diaper, feed organics and grow my own veggies like so many liberal mommys on twitter. BUT there are so many other moms that aren't online that can relate to me and read me. They might enjoy knowing that I told the head of Juicy Juice to lower their sugar and dilute their juice.
 
 
# Julie B. 2009-10-03 23:13
Yes, I absolutely love that you told them to dilute their drink boxes...or at least a 2nd version. I completely understand toyfoto's point, but sometimes it's just nice to have convenient options. I want to commend you for having such well thought out explanations. I think you were a great choice to attend and I'm so glad you did.
 
 
# Missy @marketingmama 2009-10-03 15:05
Pauline, As you know, I sent you a private e-mail right before your trip to let you know I was a bit heartbroken that you were attending. I love your blog and think you are tremendously talented, witty and a great mom. And have wayyyy better fashion sense than I.

The Nestle controversies are unknown to many, and I don't fault you for not knowing about it before this opportunity. As a marketer with a journalist background who works in *corporate america*, I have a trained eye for corporate-speak and am particularly sensitive to how my voice, and others bloggers, impacts others. I personally would not have made the same choice to go to the Nestle HQ for this event because I can't accept their money or gifts with a clean conscience, let alone use their products. Yes, it was a great opportunity for you to look them in the eye, but apparently they can lie to your eyes just as easily as they can lie to all of us by saying one thing but doing another in practice.

I appreciate the way you've handled this situation with class and it's a shame that the twitter thing happened. But I do believe that ALL of this served a greater purpose - of educating more people as to the awful practices of Nestle, particularly how they manipulate mothers into NOT breastfeeding - adding to the death and malnourishment of babies. :(

It still stings, though, when I see you pimp their candy and lasagna to your readers.

Thanks for listening.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-03 15:13
I wasn't going to write anything about going to Nestle at all actually. But your email was on my mind so I knew I needed to write something.

I've NEVER EVER tried their lasagna. I would have never purchased it. But it was really good. The sodium is less then a meal at McDs and I serve that for dinner once a month on the run. It's good to know that I have an alternative now. Anything I like, I will share.

I also like Kraft. And American Girls. And my son is in the Boy Scouts which are all tied to some sort of drama. If I removed every item from my house that was tied to something I would be living on a commune growing my own veggies.

After going to Nestle, I really believe they are trying to head toward the right direction. Seriously. I was very pleased with everything I heard and witnessed. Perhaps it was lies. I don't know. I just don't know.
 
 
# Annie PhDinParenting 2009-10-06 12:55
Actually most Happy Meal combination have lower amounts of sodium in them than one serving of the Lasagna and I assume you would serve the lasagna with a drink and maybe a side too, so that would add some more sodium to it. Not that I love McDonald's, but I wouldn't characterize Stouffer's as better.
 
 
# PJ Mullen 2009-10-03 15:23
Great post, maybe instead of writing a recap myself I'll just post a link to yours :)

It was great to meet you.
 
 
# Jill 2009-10-03 19:42
Wow. This is really interesting. I can see why people are questioning many of Nestle's business practices. I knew about the baby formula issue, but upon further research I was surprised to read some of the other controversies including the slave labor allegations. I'm getting quite an education.

The question is...what do we do about this? Please, someone tell me. In addition to Nestle, what other companies should I be boycotting? Which companies should I support?

It seems some of the people on Twitter know it all, so maybe they can guide us.

But seriously...I'm very interesting in learning more about this.

Krissy had an interesting point...

If we all boycott Nestle, Kraft, Hershey and many other large industries millions of people in America would be without jobs.

What is the answer? Please tell me. I'm listening.

 
 
# Jackson 2009-10-03 21:25
That's actually a huge concern with a lot of groups that avoid official boycotts, and not just of America... for example, the idea of boycotting Nike (that's where my experience is, hence the example) is sketchy because even though they treat their workers terribly they would rather have jobs than not have them. Nike will pull out their business when workers demand rights, so they wind up shutting up and Nike can sit back all smug and say "they love us!"

Boycotts also have a problem of being inaccessible to a lot of people... for example, there are people who simply can't boycott Wal-Mart even if they want to (some of the more expensive brands are a different story).

There isn't an easy answer, though. Supporting alternatives where possible does not require a boycott. Drawing more public attention to embarrass companies into doing the right thing and calling attention to politicians that enable them to continue those practices is also a big thing. That involves seeing through PR... for example, Nike talks a lot about how they solved the whole child labor thing, but they didn't. It's a matter of shining lights on those lies and making them public so there are fewer and fewer ways for companies to cover themselves.
 
 
# Krissy 2009-10-03 21:46
Hmmmm....good points made here Jackson. Something to think about. :o)
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-03 22:05
Brilliant Jackson!!! "Supporting alternatives where possible does not require a boycott. Drawing more public attention to embarrass companies into doing the right thing and calling attention to politicians that enable them to continue those practices is also a big thing."
 
 
# Zoeyjane 2009-10-05 02:57
I think you said it perfectly, Jackson. Choosing alternatives where possible is my personal motto. I don't buy from a few clothing/accessory labels (Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, H & M), we very loudly boycott KFC, and I choose not to purchase any chocolate that isn't certified slave-free/fair-trade.

Those are the "can do withouts"...but there's other brands, wherein Jackson's suggestion fits.

For example, I avoid Wal-Mart as much as possible, but sometimes this single-mom with a tiny toddler needs to buy Dora underwear in a size 2 (it seems virtually impossible to find anywhere else in Vancouver).

The point of it all isn't that I'm doing it right or wrong, it's that you pick your battles. And if your personal battle isn't someone else's battle, you can't fault them for it.

I consider Pauline intelligent, with a huge heart; a good friend - that wouldn't change regardless of whether Fifi wore H & M, Lola was in Nike and Jay wore Tommy, while they were being photographed eating KFC as it was raining M & M's.

The division this whole event has caused within the community is disheartening.
 
 
# Jill 2009-10-03 20:38
Here's a list of some more companies with questionable business practices:

Altria (Philip Morris/Kraft/Nabisco)*
Campbell Soup (Pepperidge Farm, Godiva's)* [-]
Coca-Cola * [-]
ConAgra (Beatrice, Butterball, Hunts, Redenbacher)*
Equal/Nutrasweet (Monsanto)*
Hershey's* [-]
Nestle Purina* (Nescafe, Libby's, Stouffer's) [-]
Smithfield Foods*
Tyson Foods/IBP Meats*
Unilever* [-]
Archer Daniels
Albertson's
Burger King [-]
Chiquita [+]
Country Time [BW]
Dean Foods (Borden & other dairy brands)
Del Monte [BW]
Dole
General Foods [BW]
Hannaford Bros
Interstate Bakeries
KFC/Long John Silver/Taco Bell [-]
Kroger Stores
Lipton [BW]
McDonald's
Pepsico
Pizza Hut [-]
Post Foods [BW]
Procter & Gamble
Publix Supermarkets
Safeway
Sara Lee
Savon [BW]
Shoney's
Warner Lambert
Winn-Dixie [BW]
 
 
# Jill 2009-10-03 20:40
Clothing Companies that should be looked at:


Adidas* [-]
Dillard's*
DuPont* (Lycra)
Fila* [-]
Gap*
JC Penney*
Kohl's*
May's* (Robinson May, Lord & Taylor)
Sears* [-]
Wal-Mart*
Abercrombie & Fitch [-]
Asics [-]
Big Lots (Pic'n Save)
Costco
Federated (Bloomies, Macy's, the Bon)
Fruit of the Loom
J. Crew
Jones Apparel
KMart
Lands' End
Levi Strauss
Liz Claiborne
Nike
Phillips Van Heusen
Polo Ralph Lauren [-]
Reebok
Sara Lee (Playtex, WonderBra, Sheer Energy) Target
TJ Maxx/Marshall's [-]
Victoria's Secret (Limited Stores)
Winners (TJX Canada) [-]
 
 
# Jill 2009-10-03 20:43
I got this information from blogs.salon.com/0002007/2005/11/03.html

Here are the food companies they support:


Fair Trade Certified coffee, tea, chocolate and fruit
Whole Foods [+]
Hain-Celestial Natural Organic Products
Take a local organic gardening course
and grow your own.
Buy from local farmers' markets.
Seeds of Change (organic seeds & plants)

Although I'm not sure how everyone feels about Whole Foods since the CEO criticized Obama's proposed HC plan.
 
 
# vegas710 2009-10-03 20:51
Many people decided to boycott Whole Foods after the owner's statements regarding the health care debate.
 
 
# Wendy 2009-10-03 23:20
There's also a "BUYcott" for Whole Foods, as well. I started buying 90% of our food from Whole Foods (where it was 50% or so) after the CEO's article.
 
 
# Vegas710 2009-10-03 23:24
Wow, that's an expensive statement.
 
 
# Jill 2009-10-03 21:11
This is my last comment on this subject. If you look at my list, you'll see that the list of "responsible" companies is a a short one indeed.

According to my research, if I want to be a responsible consumer the only clothing I can buy is Patagonia, I will have to shop at my local farmer's market or grow my own veggies. I cannot take drugs from ANY pharmaceutical company, I can only watch PBS or listen to NPR and rather than purchase gas, I need to bicycle or walk.

A tall order indeed.
 
 
# Candace 2009-10-03 21:21
Jill--I do not find this compelling because there are degrees and there are issues that matter more than others. If Nestle's practices are particularly egregious, why would I not choose another company over them or call them out for it? You may disagree with my interpretation of the facts, or you may think these issues do not matter, and you are entitled to both opinions, certainly...but the idea that if we boycott one company we have to boycott all is just a non-starter in my book.
 
 
# vegas710 2009-10-03 21:38
What I take from this is that there are people who are boycotting every single company out there. They all think everyone should join them. But we all have different passions, different places where we put our energies. It doesn't mean that your cause is not important, it means our energy is already being used on another issue or seven, you know? Boycotting a company like Nestle does take a lot of effort, especially when money is an issue and/or when you live in places that don't have fancy Whole Foods type stores.
I am glad to be more aware of some issues now than I was before the twitter thing but I'm still not boycotting Nestle. And I hope to never be called uneducated or to be told that I condone baby killing, ever again, just because my methods and passions may differ from someone else. Candace, you've been great in this debate, so has Crunchy Goddess and I'm sure there are others. Unfortunately, the majority of boycotters that I interacted with were hostile and what I would call elitist, moralizing food choices to the extreme ("I'd never buy that processed stuff anyway"). It's gotten worse now. It's out of control self-importance.
/rant
Sorry that ended up being directed at you, Candace. I really just intended to write that very first part.
 
 
# Anna/5rottens 2009-10-07 10:23
Quoting vegas710:
...Boycotting a company like Nestle does take a lot of effort...


I've been boycotting Nestle for at least six years. In that time, we've gone from a family of 3 to a family of 7, and I've never found that boycotting Nestle "takes a lot of effort." Sure, the list of their products is giant, but all you have to do is turn the package over and read the label. The parent company is nearly always listed.

And for the record, although there are "fancy Whole Foods type stores" in my area, I don't shop at them. With a large family on one income, we have to watch our pennies like everyone else. I just choose not to spend mine with Nestle.

It's a harsh reality, but every dollar you spend really is a vote. It's a vote that says you support the company and their business practices. That said, I can't boycott everyone at once, I can't afford to buy all organic, and I don't live in a climate that allows me to only buy local (nor can I always afford that, either). So although it makes me cringe, my "vote" often goes to companies that I don't love, or that I know nothing about. Everyone has to choose what is important to them, and what they want to stand up for, even if it's nothing at all. You can choose not to get behind the Nestle boycott. But giving "it's too hard" as your reason just doesn't ring true... also, it leaves a nice open door for those of us who would like to convince you otherwise. ;)
 
 
# vegas710 2009-10-07 11:19
This point would go to you if I hadn't given other reasons. But kudos for trying! My efforts are being placed elsewhere at this time but of course, I have no opinion whatsoever on the fact that you boycott.
I am glad to hear from another kind boycotter who is also not moralizing my food choices in general.
 
 
# that_danielle 2009-10-07 11:52
Since I've learned about what Nestle is responsible for (or irresponsible for as the case may be), I've tried to avoid buying Nestle-owned products but I recognize that it can be very difficult and overwhelming so I suggested the idea of starting with a Halloween boycott as it's a lot easier to avoid buying Nestle-brand or owned candy. For a list of candy/chocolate brands that Nestle owns or is involved with, please visit daniellefriedland.com/.../...

I was just at Target and bought some Halloween pencils to give out but there's also brands like Tootsie, Hershey's (tho keep in mind that Hershey produces KitKat in North America under license for Nestle).
 
 
# vegas710 2009-10-07 11:56
Hershey also buys from the same chocolate co-op as Nestle.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-07 12:00
There are many things online that mention Hersey also uses child slaves in coca producing countries.

I would check on your pencils too. Are they made-in-china?

Someone should write a post of good ideas what to hand out this Halloween. Im spent.
 
 
# vegas710 2009-10-07 13:27
I'm not using this as an argument but I really do get overwhelmed when I think about what "voting with my dollars" would really have to look like. I stopped shopping at WalMart, it was hard at first but I've only wished I could go there twice in the two years since. I don't consider it a boycott because I'm not trying to recruit anyone and I haven't told WalMart I'm not shopping there. I try to think more positive with my money, I buy fair trade coffee from Paul Newmans and a lot of 7th Generation cleaning products because I believe in those companies. But I cannot make a political statement out of every dollar I spend. It is hella hard to find stuff not made in China where the human rights violations are numerous and well-documented. So I won't tolerate someone preaching at me to boycott Nestle and I won't preach to them about where the rest of their money is going.
 
 
# vegas710 2009-10-07 13:28
To clarify, neither of the ladies upthread has been preachy. Just got my fair share on Twitter!
 
 
# Jackson 2009-10-03 22:32
Boycotts that work work because they are targeted. One of the things that makes boycotts fail is when people try putting out massive lists of places to boycott. Come to think of it, I'm not sure that even qualifies as an actual boycott.

Say, BOYCOTT ALL CHOCOLATE!

First off, people aren't going to do it. Second, the act is spread so thin that no one company actually feels intimidated. It's better to, say, boycott one company at a time. A good example are anti-animal testing groups. While they urge a boycott of all animal tested goods, they only have a few official boycotts one at a time. So at one point they were boycotting POM Wonderful. Then POM finally stopped testing, and they began working on Mars. And because they're larger and more difficult to change, they tended to keep boycotts on Proctor and Gamble, Unilever and others going.

So if our issue was say fair trade chocolate, we could boycott Hershey until they complied with our demands. Then go on to Nestle. And then Mars. And so on.

Actually, that's a problem I've seen with vegetarian advocacy, too. I'm a vegetarian, but as far as calling that a "boycott" of animal cruelty... it's just not targeted enough for that. It's a moral decision that has an impact, but it's not an effective boycott because it isn't targeted enough.
 
 
# pickel 2009-10-03 21:20
I missed the twitter debate as well because I just couldn't keep up during the day. Thank you for summarizing it for me and for a post that is honest and refreshing.
 
 
# Deb 2009-10-03 21:32
To answer Jill's question, I think each consumer needs to reach a peace with this herself. People fall all throughout the continuum of anything-goes to radical responsibility/only buy local and sustainable. I'm certainly in the middle for most consumables, except for boycotting tobacco companies, favoring good an eco companies and I only buying fair trade coffee and chocolate. In that decision continuum, I boycott Nestle for a few reasons. Their record of disregard for standards in formula marketing and food dumping exploitation, in my mind, goes way beyond human decency, even for mega businesses--and that says a lot. I think a lot of people feel that way. Plus it doesn't have to be all or nothing. It is okay to decide how radically responsible one can be, and to continue to do one's best to be a better citizen, better parent, and better consumer, in the same way it is good to recycle your paper and bottles, even if you don't live in a solar house. We all start somewhere, usually with the most obvious. In a lot of people's minds, Nestle is a most obvious offender. I'm not into attacking anyone who doesn't agree, but I am explaining what Jill asked, which is why Nestle is so scorned and not others.
 
 
# Leslie 2009-10-03 22:00
Ok, I just read your post and ALL the comments, after working a 12-hour shift in my ER, one of the busiest pediatric ERs in the country....and I think I just had a seizure, wait here comes another one....

I ask you once again P, why are you such a sh!t starter??? ;-)

Where's the answer to my crack question??? Did I skim over that part??? No???

Why are your kids so frickin' adorable? I don't know how all that cuteness came from a such a sh!t starter...

I'm going to get a reply comment from one of the meanies on here, aren't I? Ugh...
 
 
# Lexi 2009-10-03 23:48
I came here because you said your post was the "most objective" take on all this #nestlefamily drama on Twitter.

Instead what I hear is a blogging SAHM who feels extremely flattered that a big corporation paid attention to her and "listened" to her concerns. It's as if all this attention from Nestle validated your importance even though you're a mere SAHM. Imagine, the CEO of the largest food manufacturer sitting not more than 3 feet away from you! That fact alone makes your resume more impressive.

You wonder why we doubt your objectivity in all this, after you have accepted airfare and hotel expenses, not to mention all the goodies you came home with. Wait, maybe I'm forgetting that Nestle didn't ask for anything in exchange.

Do you really believe the marketing brains behind Nestle aren't aware of the power of reciprocation? It's a basic marketing strategy.

If you really want to do research and find objective answers, do it without the influence of the ones in question in the first place. Would you trust research backed by a company that stands to lose money from the findings?

I think I'll have to agree with Peter's conclusion. You fell for this PR scheme. Hard.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-07 11:28
I never said THE POST was the most objective. I was tweeting about THE COMMENTS on this post as being very thought provoking and was commending my commenters.
 
 
# Texan Mama 2009-10-04 00:37
Hey Pauline, I'm just wondering, would you be willing to post (maybe like a script or typed dialogue or something?) some of the questions you asked and the answers they gave? Everyone here is shooting words around about "Nestle says this" and "Mom Bloggers think that" but I'd love to actually hear (or read, I guess) what was said! I think it would be cool since I'm just catching up to this as of late.
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-07 11:27
Some of the questions that were asked have been emailed to the company. PHD in Parenting (find her in the comments) has posted the questions on her blog and awaiting answers.
 
 
# Colorado1 2009-10-04 03:49
Allow me to step back to the big picture:

1) If you had picked up your own, FULL tab, how much would it have cost you to attend this event? (Perhaps I missed that)

2) Are you aware of the Hawthorne Effect?

tinyurl.com/42wpx

Strategically, Nestle is to be commended.

Success? Depends on the metrics the firm had coming in.

Ethically, I would have gone...BUT only if I paid my own expenses. Even U.S. Presidents must disclose their "gifts."

Also, I've "sat near" and counseled many Fortune-500 CEOs...and that is not a resume bragging point.

[Contact me if you want help "weaving" the experience into a resume in a credible manner. I'll do it for free.]

Thank you for your post.
 
 
# Shannon 2009-10-04 10:40
This is very interesting. First of all, I think you did the right thing by going. It's a Catch 22. If you pay your own way, people would wonder why Nestle didn't foot the bill. And seriously, many families can't fork over a few grand on a moments notice to attend a free chat session with a major corporation. The second thing is, someone has to ask the questions! I think we have to start somewhere. I thought your post was an overall view of your trip, how and and why you decided to go. I didn't think it was an endorsement for Nestle for crying out loud?
 
 
# Grandy 2009-10-04 20:12
I don't do Twitter (because frankly I'm trying to avoid yet another addiction) but in reading through your post, as well as the comments, can certainly make out that the meltdown was "complicated". Your decision to go was valid, the work you did while you were there is commendable. There are too many people with ignorant positions, and they just want to take the "rant" position. You will not reach everyone, but stay true to you, Missy. You are still my hero...and still rock those stilletos like nobody can. ;)
 
 
# Sarah 2009-10-05 03:04
You are so deserving of the title 'classy'. You absolutely gush classiness, grace, and poise. Well written!
 
 
# 2 Toddlers And Me 2009-10-05 15:01
Great post. It's nice to hear that you did your research and that you are particular about the companies you blog about. Your trip sounds fascinating to me. As a newbie blogger I hope to one day be able to have my voice known and my goal is to take it as seriously and earnestly as you. But I do hope you had some fun on the trip too!
 
 
# Name 2009-10-05 15:22
the footed the bill so they get positive press. Come On people. You are not going to take a paid trip and hammer the company.At the top of the article please post you was paid to go not foced to go. You should do this for every product you review. They actually about to be a law on this.
 
 
# ShredderFeeder 2009-10-06 22:05
LOL - I would - in a cocaine heartbeat.

Which of course is why I don't get invited on such junkets. No company wants total honesty.

My wife worked for years in Marketing and Advertising and she told me once that she has *NEVER* run a truly honest ad-campaign. Not once in 10 years..

I guess that's why she doesn't do it anymore. Integrity finally won. :)
 
 
# Sarah Graham 2009-10-06 03:10
I thought this post was really interesting. I don't know anything about these issues and it was interesting reading about your perspective.
 
 
# Sarah Graham 2009-10-06 03:12
Quoting Pauline:
I am not a cloth diaper, granola crunching, earth saving type of mom and neither are my friends.


You're not an earth saving mom? I thought we were all earth saving moms *G* Maybe I'm reading your comment wrong?
 
 
# Sarah Graham 2009-10-06 03:22
Ooops, one more question - what software did you use to make the video? Super cool!
 
 
# Pauline 2009-10-07 11:22
imovie It's so easy!
 
 
# Al_Pal 2009-10-08 05:29
I finally got a chance to read this.
Interesting stuff.

I loved Zoeyjane's comment:

"I consider Pauline intelligent, with a huge heart; a good friend - that wouldn't change regardless of whether Fifi wore H & M, Lola was in Nike and Jay wore Tommy, while they were being photographed eating KFC as it was raining M & M's."

I'm glad that you apologized for your "I don't understand many things about "granola folks" and it's apparent on twitter and the blogosphere that they can not understand me." statement--SOME folks don't get it, surely, but as you said, you are in person who you are online, and I don't find you to be un-understandable. I'm semi-crunchy, I guess. I avoid Walmart and buy fair-trade as much as I can. Not a mom, so the cloth-diaper thing isn't an issue. I'm an omnivore & can't always afford the free-range meat. *shrug*

Like others said, we all pick our battles.
*hugs*!
 
 
# Amy in OHio 2009-10-09 11:11
As always, your post was clear and brilliantly crafted - just like you my dear!

I've been reading a lot on this post-scandal. Didn't pay much attention when it was happening actually. My mind needs time to percolate sometimes.

One thought that has had me thinking came from @meloukhia here:

meloukhia.net/.../...

when she writes: "It sounds like some thought that they could “open a dialogue” with Nestle by accepting handouts from them."

It has had me wondering for days now.
 

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Pauline Karwowski.

Is a self proclaimed globe trotting, minivan driving, SAHM stiletto ho.

Happily married mother to 3 Cleveland natives: Jay the son, Lola the daughter, and Fifi the banshee.

Now in Chicago, IL.

The content on this blog is the opinion of the blogger.

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