There has been a bit of a furore about the recent deal between Innocent Drinks and McDonalds. You can read about it in their own words on the Innocent blog and the follow up, but the short summary is that Innocent, a company renowned for their ethics, are running a trial of offering their smoothies in McDonalds restaurants.
They have been accused of 'selling out' (and worse) by some of their customers and the comments on their announcement blog post are heavily critical (with a few supportive voices that I imagine must be gratefully received at Innocent HQ). Innocent argue that it will help get fruit to more kids who would otherwise not have had an option of a smoothie while their opponents argue that they shouldn't align themselves with a company that makes money out of junk food (and that their endorsement might make more kids eat more burgers). It's an interesting dilemma, especially as McDonalds try to improve the healthiness of their products with somewhat mixed results and response (we have written about McDonalds reputation before).
I have followed the story with fascination for a few reasons:
- I like their smoothies! - I went to the same college as the founders - I am a big fan of their friendly approach to business
According to the Sunday Telegraph, they:
> “have tried to track and contact every negative blogger on the website to personally explain why Innocent joined forces with McDonald's”
Which is exactly how we would recommend they approach their reputation management, except that we imagine this is turning out to be a bit of a chore for them – depending on how they are going about tracking all the mentions of them online.
So, in an innocent spirit and because I think they're taking a bit too much flak for what we have to remember is only a trial at this stage, we would like to offer them a free pro account on reputation monitor which will let them track mentions of them, their website and their blog over the next month with a lot less effort than however they are doing it at the moment (I'm fairly sure).
If you know anyone at Innocent, let them know about this (hopefully they'll pick it up through the monitoring they are currently doing) – we really want to help and we'll even help them get their monitor set up as well as possible.