On April 13, 2023, Cadbury issued a legal notice to social media influencer Revant Himantsingka(Ex Mckinsey Employee), who had posted a video on social media criticising the endorsement of Cadbury’s product Bournvita as a “health drink”. The video went viral, but Himantsingka eventually removed it from his profile before his Twitter handle was restricted and then permanently removed from the platform. In this article, we discuss the background of the incident, what led to Cadbury’s lawsuit, and what it means for social media influencers and the public.
Himantsingka, a social media influencer, runs an Instagram handle named Food Pharmer. In his recent social media post, he informed about the legal notice he received from Cadbury’s law firm. Himantsingka created a video on Cadbury Bournvita, which went viral on Instagram, receiving nearly 12 million views. He claimed that the product contained 50% sugar and criticised Cadbury for making false claims about its health benefits. He also alleged that Cadbury had added the “immunity” claim to the package due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite not having made any changes to the product.
Cadbury Bournvita is a popular chocolate-based malted drink mix that claims to provide health benefits, including strong bones, muscles, and active brains. According to Cadbury, Bournvita contains vitamins A, C, and D, iron, zinc, copper, and selenium, which help build immunity. The company has called out the “Helps with the healthy functioning of the immune system” claim on the back of its pack for several years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Himantsingka’s video attracted a lot of attention, and many people shared it on social media platforms. However, Cadbury’s legal team was not amused and sent a legal notice to Himantsingka. In response, Himantsingka removed the video and issued an apology, stating that he did not intend to infringe any trademark or defame any company. He also requested that multinational corporations not take legal action against him. Despite this, Cadbury sued Himantsingka for defamation.
The incident highlights the power of social media influencers and the impact they can have on a company’s brand reputation. It also highlights the risks that influencers face when they post content that criticises a company or its products. Social media influencers are increasingly being used by brands to promote their products, and this incident suggests that companies may take legal action against influencers who make negative comments about their products.
Social media influencers must be careful when making claims about a product’s health benefits or ingredients. Companies can sue influencers for defamation or trademark infringement if they make false claims about a product or use a company’s trademark without permission. In the case of Himantsingka, his claim that Bournvita contained 50% sugar was not accurate, and his claim that caramel colour causes cancer was also incorrect.
The incident also highlights the need for greater transparency from companies about the ingredients and health benefits of their products. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the quality of the products they consume, and they want more information about the ingredients and health benefits of the products they buy. Companies that make false claims about their products or use misleading marketing tactics risk damaging their brand reputation.
In conclusion, the Cadbury-Himantsingka incident is a cautionary tale for social media influencers, companies, and consumers. Social media influencers must be careful when making claims about a product’s health benefits or ingredients, and companies must be transparent about the ingredients and health benefits of their products. Consumers must also be vigilant and do their research before