Two bloggers feel they have been threatened and harassed by the company Sjokoservice Norway after having written critical blog posts about Xocai chocolate which advertises a range of health benefits if you eat the chocolate.
The advertisement claimed among other things, that the antioxidants in chocolate may boost the immune system, improve memory, help with depression and be good for diabetics.
Before the blog entry was posted in 2010 “Morten” contacted 15 distributors for the chocolate. He had gone after the allegations in the advertisement at the seams and thought it gave incorrect information. None of the 15 wanted to provide information.
“Morten” received the first e-mail from Sjokoservice Norway on 22 April this year and after an e-mail exchange he decided to remove the two relevant blog posts.
In the first e-mail from Norway Sjokoservice, the company writes that it has received a lot of angry calls from its members regarding the blog post and that the case is sent to the company’s lawyers in the U.S. who are now preparing a lawsuit.
Credit: Gunnar Tjomlid
SjokoService and its American parent company, MXI Corp, seem to want to silence critics of their product (marketed as incredible healthy chocolate). However, due to their actions and Mr. Tjomlid’s retelling of “Morten”s story (for which Tjomlid himself received threats of lawsuits), the Streisand effect is in full swing.
At Google Norway, Tjomlid’s post about Xocai and Sjokoservice’s threats and harassment now occupies the number 1 spot in the search results for Xocai. In less than 24 hours the post had been shared 10,000 times on FB and Twitter and 3 newspapers have written about it.
*Original article in in Norwegian.
Here’s a Google Translated version of the original post.
UPDATE(29-Jun-2012): Chocolate-bosses covers their tracks**
Both Terje Babsvik and his brother Jon-Atle Babsvik denies any knowlegde of the threats.
Roger Meyer, the man who according to the blogger Gunnar Tjomlid made threats of a lawsuit for the publication of critical blog posts about the health-chocolate Xocai on Tuesday, is apparently on vacation and is impossible to get a hold of.
The video that f-b-no published via Youtube Wednesday, where Babsvik among other things tells about antioxidants and sales techniques are now removed from the web.
As is the list of contacts for the network in the region.
The Streisand effect is in full effect by now, so much that they feel the need to hush it down and delete stuff and/or just flat out deny stuff ever having happening in order to avoid more bad publicity. Only it’s probably a tad too late for that.
If you want to read the blog post in question in full and in English, Gunnar Tjomlid has now provided an English transcript of his original post. You can read it here!
**Link is in Norwegian. I have translated the parts quoted here. For a full translation of the article, a Google Translator version is here.