Emily Tan
May 29, 2014

'Jihad' declared against Cadbury: What should the brand do?

MALAYSIA – In a move surreal in its extremity, more than 20 Malay-Muslim groups in Malaysia have declared a "Jihad" against Cadbury following the discovery of porcine DNA in its chocolate bars. Experts on branding and Islam discuss the impact and how the brand should move forward.

Cadbury Malaysia issued a recall of the affected chocolate bars immediately
Cadbury Malaysia issued a recall of the affected chocolate bars immediately

The ongoing controversy is so sensitive that numerous agencies that have Islamic specialisations or handle accounts in Muslim nations have either dodged Campaign Asia-Pacific’s queries or turned down our requests for comment and advice. Some have said they were "considering" participating while the more direct have admitted that the topic was too sensitive. As a result this article’s publication was delayed, for once not because the brand declined to comment, but because the agencies have proven reluctant to speak on the issue.

The entire incident stems from a photo of a lab report circulating on social media. The report claimed that the lab had tested a sample of hazelnut chocolate by ‘Cabbury’ and found the presence of DNA from pigs. Dealing with that was difficult enough for the brand. Then a coalition of 20 Islamic groups declared a 'Jihad'.

For details on what happened, Cadbury's reaction, opinions on the brand impact among the Muslim population and advice on Cadbury's next steps, please read the rest of 'Jihad' declared against Cadbury: What should the brand do? on PRWeek Asia.


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