For the last few weeks I've been bitching about Nutella. This is the last I'm going to say about it before abandoning the product completely.
Just over three weeks ago I saw that Nutella had jumped on the 'personalised packaging' bandwagon. I hadn't cared about Coca Cola and their personalised cans, the only time I'd ever drank that stuff was when I was drunk. But then Nutella decided that it wanted a piece of the action. In the supermarket there were displays of stickers with popular Italian names on them, in the same style and colour as the Nutella packaging, so that you could stick on the jar.
It was like practically everyone I knew in Italy sent me a link to Nutella's site, where three weeks ago you could order a sticker for your Nutella jar which would be sent to you by email, and it could be any name you want. Brilliant I thought, even though I don't have an Italian name I can get one too. But no, obviously being Italy that would be far too easy. When I sent my request and got the following message:.
"Segnalaci il tuo nome, se lo riteniamo idoneo ti spediremo la tua etichetta il primo possibile."
'Tell us your name, if we think it's suitable we'll send your sticker as soon as possible.'
Right. So you're basically accusing my name of being some sort of swear word because it's not in your list? Nice.
One week passed, no email with the sticker.
Two weeks passed, I was in Florence, still no email with the sticker. How long does it take for someone to decide that a foreign name isn't some kind of insult?
And the whole time on the radio every weekend my favourite radio presenter and her partner in crime were giving away personalised jars of Nutella as prizes in various competitions. I desperately wanted one but for a foreigner their quizzes were too difficult, I never knew the answers. And some of the contestants had names such as Marco and Laura... People who could get their stickers at the supermarket. To rub things in further...
Three weeks. Ok, even for Italy this is ridiculous. Before demanding an answer from Nutella's Twitter account I went to read their last tweets.
They'd changed the rules. You could no longer request any name, only ones on their Approved Italian Names list.
Well, thanks for telling me. I wasted three weeks waiting for nothing.
I just wanted a sticker with my name to put on my Nutella jar. They didn't even send me any kind of communication, or let me know in any way that I actually, even though they'd said that they could send you an email with a sticker for any name in the world, I couldn't have one. I felt let down by a product that had been with me through thick and thin.
All summer I'd felt ignored because I was working... I wanted to take part in the Italy in a Day project so I could tell the story of adopted country - my new home - but after reading the small print I found out foreign residents couldn't take part... Now my beloved Nutella was discriminating against me because of my name.
It may seem silly, but it's a matter of principle. I don't like feeling discriminated against in any way, no matter how small, in a country that I now call home.