Xocai is not okay! Legal threat against skeptical critic in Norway (Update: Xocai tries to cover their tracks)

Bloggers were threatened with million dollar lawsuit for blogging about “healthy chocolate”*

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.

  12 comments for “Xocai is not okay! Legal threat against skeptical critic in Norway (Update: Xocai tries to cover their tracks)

  1. June 28, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    They have a youtube channel and it made me laugh. It’s as if getting chocolate from them is the only way you can get the benefits.

    Though I doubt the benefits of chocolate, I only go for dark chocolate and cacao beans for the taste. I always hated milk chocolate.

    I grew up with chocolate. My grandma use to get the cacao beans and make it herself.

  2. June 28, 2012 at 6:39 PM
  3. June 28, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Just to note, Hershey (the great American chocolate company) tries this tactic too. http://www.thehersheycompany.com/nutrition-and-wellness/chocolate-101/antioxidants.aspx

    But they don’t push baseless claims, just indulge a bit in the chemistry.

  4. June 29, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Hei. I Have been following this case in Norway, and the Xocai-mafia are on the run here now. They have removed all names of Xocai-selelrs and board members from their websites, and positive blogs about Xocai are disappearing as people don’t want to be associated with this scam.

    It seems however that American Xocai-heads are afraid of this seeping through to the english-language world. Xocai-seller Adam Paul Green is trying to manipulate Google both towards this blog, and the original Norwegian blogger (tjomlid.com).

    I have written about this here: http://venstresida.net/?q=node/3270

    And the whole original story is now made available in english: http://tjomlid.com/2012/06/28/xocai-the-nasty-tale-of-a-norwegian-chocolate-mafia/

    I ask everybody to help spread this on blogs and forums, so Green and the other scam-artists loose.

  5. snoma
    June 29, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Thanks for the update info, Ronny. I’ll add it to the main story as well as Gunnar’s link to the full story in English

  6. erik28
    July 30, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    The latest (as of July 30, 2012) apparent misinformation efforts include web articles with this headline,

    “International Xocai Bloggers Say “Streisand Effect” Was Misrepresented During A Nasty Norwegian Critic Attack”

    which then appears to be followed by a publicity article about Adam Paul Green: http://www.i-newswire.com/international-xocai-bloggers-say/188638

    This type of manipulative marketing leaves me feeling cynical to say the least, especially when marketing claims are being made for particularly pricey “healthy” products. I don’t feel cynical about the bloggers at all, but it seems nearly impossible to get the truth out in a way that makes a difference.

  7. July 31, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    Green is obviousley trying to manipulate Google. I believe the only effective strategy would be to report his scamming web-tactics to Google. They have historically at least, not been very fond of people trying to manipulate their searches.

  8. snoma
    July 31, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Yeah, it’s rather pathetic. If Google catches on, they’re in trouble. Like you said, Google is not fond of people trying to manipulate their searches.

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