As the story of Québec juice maker Lassonde unfolded over the weekend, three aspects stood out from all the traditional and social media noise.
First, a quick review of the story:
- Susan Krashinsky’s article in the Globe and Mail today: Juice maker squeezed by social media outcry
- Postmedia News’ Marianne White’s article in The Gazette yesterday: Québec juice maker Lassonde forced to settle lawsuit after online backlash
‘Traditional’ media ignited the social media storm.
It took an article entitled ‘Pas touche au mot ‘oasis’ (Don’t touch the word ‘oasis’) in the printed and online editions of La Presse on Saturday to focus attention on this legal battle between the giant juice maker and the tiny soap maker.
Québec’s celebrity cult amplified the story online.
While Twitter and Facebook were already abuzz with angry comments about Lassonde’s actions, alarm bells really went off when the highly influential host of SRC’s Tout le monde en parle, Guy A. Lepage, tweeted his decision to boycott Oasis to his more than 100,000 followers.
Local matters more?
I was struck by a line in Lassonde’s statement quoting its vice-president of communications, Stefano Bertolli: “We never intentionally wanted to harm another Quebec business.”
A Québec business? I get the impression that Lasonde’s decision to play hard ball to protect its trademark would have gone largely unnoticed if it had picked a fight with a small soap maker operating outside Québec. The fact that David and Goliath were both from Québec made it more personal.