Hershey's intended for the "Say S'mores" photo contest to be a fun, light-hearted way to celebrate National S'mores Day (which is today, in fact). And it was -- until the fair trade chocolate activists got involved.
The initial concept of the photo contest was simple: Hershey's wanted chocolate lovers to upload S'mores-related photos to its Facebook page. But when the Raise the Bar campaign decided to participate, the contest took on a much more somber tone. Check it out:
The Raise the Bar campaign asked people to take photos of themselves holding fliers that advocate for Hershey to support fair trade cocoa, which includes improving its labor policies. Here's why Raise the Bar is specifically targeting Hershey's because, according to its website:
Almost ten years since chocolate companies committed to ending child labor, forced labor, and trafficking in their cocoa supply chains, these egregious labor rights abuses continue. While many chocolate companies have taken steps to trace their cocoa purchasing and implement labor rights standards among their suppliers, the Hershey Company lags behind its competitors. Hershey has no policies in place to trace its cocoa and protect workers.
Frustrated with Hershey's slow progress, the advocacy group took action by this call for an online protest on Hershey's Facebook page. And, ultimately they usurped the chocolate company's S'mores contest as several activists and their photos holding the fliers flooded the site. And you know what? I think it's a brilliant idea. It's a wonderful, not to mention peaceful way to raise awareness about an important issue. The best part: It's not so intrusive as to be annoying. People who are more interested in S'mores than fair trade can simply click to the next photo -- but they still will have gotten the message.
What do you think of the Raise the Bar campaign?
Images via Facebook