food & Wine

Joanita Wibowo

Cadbury responds to "hateful" accusations surrounding "war on Easter"

Cadbury responds to "hateful" accusations surrounding "war on Easter"

For years, Cadbury has been at the receiving end of abuse from customers who believed that the chocolate brand is carrying out a “war on Easter”.

People have flooded the company’s social media pages with criticisms and incorrect accusations that it has foregone using the word “Easter” on its line of seasonal items.

“We don’t know where [the rumours] started. It’s been twisted in so many ways,” Lainie Kirk, external affairs manager for the company, told “For years we’ve been ignoring these xenophobic hateful comments.”

In response to the “hateful” online comments, Cadbury has introduced a new symbol to promote “racial respect and cultural inclusivity”.

The new symbol, titled "For All", was co-created with eight designers from different cultural backgrounds.

“For several months, Cadbury has been working on an initiative to develop a symbol that stands for racial respect and cultural inclusivity. A visual tool to use as a response to racism and hate online, starting with the divisive comments we regularly receive on social media,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

It also revealed that the Christchurch terror attacks, which took place during the creation process, served to strengthen the resolve of the team. 

“Our group, including designers from New Zealand and of Muslim background, reinforced that this act of hatred and division only cemented the need to stay true to the task,” it said.

“Every single day, Cadbury’s Australian social media pages are flooded with hateful messages and comments that have nothing to do with chocolate and everything to do with racist sentiment,” said Paul Chatfield, director of marketing, chocolate at Cadbury’s parent company Mondelēz International.

“As an iconic brand in Australia, we reach a significant number of Australians with our messages, and with this voice believe we have a responsibility to lead by example, which has been the impetus for the creation of this symbol.”