China’s dairy giant Mengniu apologizes for food waste
China’s dairy conglomerate Mengniu apologized on Friday for the negative impacts of a marketing campaign run in partnership with the IQIYI show Youth with You Season 3, that resulted in viewers dumping large amounts of milk products into sewers amid the country’s strengthened efforts to eradicate food waste.
The apology came after a video showing mounds of bottled milk, possibly hundreds of boxes, being dumped directly into sewers, went viral online in late April.
The video implied that the milk products were purchased by viewers who wanted to obtain extra votes for their favorite contestants, as part of a campaign run by IQIYI and Mengniu. A QR code is hid inside milk caps offering additional votes.
IQIYI, the producer of the Chinese variety show, first apologized on Friday for ignoring value guidance and social responsibility, as well as for the negative influence its campaign caused.
Following IQIYI’s apology, Mengniu, a major dairy brand in China and the biggest sponsor of the show, also extended its apology on Friday and said that it fully supports and actively cooperates with IQIYI’s corrective measures to ensure proper handling.
“We deplore the waste of milk and drink and oppose all forms of food waste…will deeply reflect on the case and earnestly fulfill our social responsibilities to avoid such incidents from happening again,” said the company in its statement.
Previously, Xinhua News Agency posted a commentary on Tuesday, criticizing the production company and the sponsor who forgot their social responsibility when they decided to use such a promotion method. The behavior misled young people and eroded their values.
The new anti-food waste law stipulates that individuals and organizations that make and circulate programs promoting big eaters will face a fine of between 10,000 ($1,545) and 100,000 yuan ($15,480). The program producer may be ordered to suspend its business, and the people in charge will be held accountable, media reports.