PepsiCo defends Doritos’ palm oil policy

Doritos parent company PepsiCo has fired back at an environmental campaign which attacked the snack brand's 'destruction of rainforests' and 'unsustainable use of palm oil'.

Launched yesterday (13 January) by consumer group SumOfUs, the campaign features posters on UK buses and an online video backed by a ‘five-figure ad-buy’. But PepsiCo has rubbished the anti-environment accusations, claiming they focus on fiction rather than fact.

The corporation told edie: “It is no surprise that SumofUs’ continual mischaracterizations of our palm oil commitments are patently false and run counter to the positive reception our policies have received from expert organizations in this arena.

“PepsiCo has repeatedly stated that we are absolutely committed to 100% sustainable palm oil in 2015 and to zero deforestation in our activities and sourcing.

“This latest public relations stunt, focused on fiction rather than facts, does nothing to foster positive dialogue or affect positive change. We find our policies effective and stand by them.”

Crunch time

The online video, called A Cheesy Love Story – The Ad Doritos Don’t Want You to See, has received 430,000 views since being posted on YouTube earlier this week.

Its release is scheduled to undermine Doritos’ high-profile ‘Crash the Superbowl’ campaign, which offers a member of the public a chance to create an advert to be aired during America’s most watched television event.

Video: The SumOfUs anti-Doritos ad

In a statement accompanying the release of the video, SumOfUs campaigner Hanna Thomas claimed that PepsiCo’s use of palm oil contributed to modern day slavery in South-East Asia, as well as the clearing of rainforests and peatlands, driving species like the orangutan and Sumatran tiger to extinction.

The campaign follows a similar effort by the same organisation in November, which temporarily forced Pepsi True off the Amazon online marketplace.

Brad Allen

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