By enlisting the help of Mexican influencers, Hershey’s hoped to send a positive message about doing good for others. Instead, the brand received a deluge of criticism for carrying out its campaign in a way that many deemed insensitive.
Baia, baia… apareció un misterioso comunicado supuestamente de Hershey's por la campaña de #hacerelbiensabebien y los posts de Instagram están desapareciendo… https://t.co/1ECwpolRXY pic.twitter.com/wyni4YaWIQ
— Sopitas (@sopitas) August 13, 2018
To celebrate its 50 years in Mexico, Hershey’s launched #HacerElBienSabeBien, a more than $1 million campaign, where (mostly white) influencers photographed themselves helping (mostly brown) people from low-income communities. As such, those who saw the images circulating on social media called the project classist, according to BuzzFeed. Critics pointed out that the campaign only benefited those with means and privilege and that those who most needed help were used as mere props.
— HuffPost México (@HuffPostMexico) August 12, 2018
Though the campaign has existed since around April, things hit a fever pitch recently. Hershey’s responded to the negative commentary by deleting images off its Instagram account. It then issued an apology. “We recognize that our execution of the campaign was inadequate and we offer apologies to all those that we could have offended,” the brand said. “The campaign was immediately retired and we lament not being able to correctly convey our message.”
— Hershey's México (@MXHersheys) August 13, 2018
The controversy has resurfaced conversations about classism in Mexico. And despite the company doing damage control, it hasn’t quelled backlash. Check out what people are still saying on social media.
#Hacerelbiensabebien deberían comenzar a contratar creativos y personal más diverso para no llegar a esos errores.
— J.Bad (@JessicaBadilloF) August 14, 2018
Amanecí con un chocolate Hershey’s debajo de mi almohada.
¿Fui visitada por las hadas del clasismo? #hacerelbiensabebien
— Daichi (@JuanFS16) August 14, 2018
#Hacerelbiensabebien resultó ofensiva para la mayoría de los mexicanos. A @Hersheys , o más bien a su agencia se le olvidó la situación social mexicana. Eso pasa cuando todos tus creativos son "niños bien", unificados en la misma educación clasista
— Antonio (@antoniodeca1) August 14, 2018