A couple of years ago, when I was releasing When My Husband Does The Dishes, I contacted the Australian distributors of Nutella. Given that there were dozens of references to Nutella in my book, dozens of references to Nutella in my blog, and hundreds of references to Nutella in my tweets (and that I was so famous for my Nutella addiction I was being sent Nutella recipes, images and information almost daily), I thought that perhaps they would like to sponsor my launch.
My request went through to marketing, who seemed interested in the idea. I was in discussions with them right up until the last minute. And then, a couple of weeks before the launch, they changed their mind. Apparently the way that I portrayed Nutella in my musings - as a big jar of chocolatey fantabulousness that one digs into with a spoon with animal abandon - was not in line with their policy of promoting Nutella as a 'healthy breakfast option'.
Well guess what Nutella?
NOBODY BELIEVES THAT.
Last night I saw the latest ad for Nutella on TV. It is full of delightful images of morning, and healthy, glowing people, and sunshine, and attractive, sporty men. And I watched it and I threw my Nutella-encrusted spoon at the TV because yet again the Nutella folks are lying to me.
THIS IS NOT HOW WE EAT NUTELLA, people! In fact, this is not WHO eats Nutella! The ad is full of men (post surfing, in their business suits, pulling a coffee) and a smattering of happy kids, eating Nutella on wholesome bread and toast. The only women in the ad are either serving breakfast to their children, or giggling alongside their Nutella-scoffing boyfriends. (Two of the chicks manage to score a single bite of their boyfriends' Nutella toast, but it is quickly snatched away. Clearly one bite is all they're allowed. Perhaps the boyfriends are worried they'll gain weight?)
I am so tired of the Nutella propaganda that bears no relation to the truth. For once, I would love Nutella to release an ad that is real. Pre-menstrual women weeping and shoveling Nutella into their faces with a spoon. Post-menstrual women eating Nutella for dessert. Gleeful pre-schoolers painting with Nutella all over the kitchen. Teenage girls gorging on Nutella crepes in a cafe. Mums eating their kids' leftover crusts with a three inch topping of Nutella. Nutella fudgsicles. Nutella brownies. Nutella microwave mud cake. Nutella on ice cream. Nutella as the treat food it really is.
If Nutella is a healthy hazelnut spread, then I am a cave woman who hunts for food. Except that I'm not. Okay, so I may have the tiniest remnants of cave woman DNA in me, but I am a 21st century Jew who buys instant noodles and cans of peaches. Similarly, though Nutella may technically have a few hazelnuts in it, it is essentially a chocolate spread that we eat when we're depressed or need to celebrate or are feeling fat or one of the billion other reasons we women eat chocolate. We don't eat it because it's healthy, because it's not. And and we certainly don't feel virtuous when we feed it to our kids, because it's chocolate (although we do feed it to them anyway, because they love it and it shuts them up and we are crap parents).
So Nutella, please come clean and start telling the truth in your advertising.
And when I launch my next book, I would really love to hear from you.