Danone’s Actimel creates its very own rumour mill

Healthy yogurt brand Actimel, owned by French food giant Danone, began to suffer as bloggers in Latin America spread rumours that it was addictive, harmful to children and destroyed stomachs.

So after trying conventional means of combatting this including a TV campaign featuring Argentinian journalist Daniel Mainatti Actimel turned to local digital agency Sinus (seems somehow appropriate on this medical theme) which produced its own Creador de Rumores campaign, its very own mill of improbable rumours, to show how easy it was to invent them and distribute them around the internet.

So far 40,000 people have used the facility, spreading around 100,000 rumours.

Sounds like the ultimate client nightmare but the rumours have to be chosen from a pre-selected list and they’re non-malignant, featuring the likes of trips to the World Cup. Users sign up to the statement “I’ll show you how easy it is to spread a rumour about you” and have to use their real names with a photograph.

So far so good for Actimel and Sinus. But surely someone’s bound to find a way to subvert this process?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.