Upfield, the manufacturer of Flora margarine and other products such as “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!” is currently in a complicated situation with several groups of consumers because of the decision to withdraw the advertisements of its products on the website Mumsnet.
The accusations against Mumsnet
Mumsnet is a British website with a forum format, in which parents can share their knowledge with other people about parenting. Currently, the site has more than 10 million registered users and, due to its popularity and target audience, it is a perfect site to place advertising.
Flora margarine was one of the brands that were advertised there, but recently a group of transgender activists spoke on Twitter indicating that they would stop acquiring the brand’s products while their ads appeared on Mumsnet, since they claim that the site promotes transphobia.
Activist Helen Islan said on Twitter that the platform is a place where people write strong messages against transgender people. Shortly thereafter, Upfield responded by saying that they would conduct the necessary investigations to determine if this was true since – in their words – they “take human rights and diversity policies very seriously.”
While the “investigations” take place, the brand decided to remove its ads from Mumsnet, in what ended up being a move where they would please a small group of people, but annoy many more.
The defense of free speech
Upfield’s decision is now being strongly criticized by mothers who use the website (and even by the founders of Mumsnet), who indicate that they are simply exercising their right to express themselves freely.
The website, in effect, has multiple posts where topics about transgenderism are discussed, and many of these cover the fact that in recent years, many children have expressed their desire try and change their gender.
This measure – according to Justine Roberts – a founder of Mumsnet – demonstrates that the margarine brand has been influenced by a “group of Twitter activists.”
She indicated that her site is a place to talk freely about any topic that concerns parents and that the decision to withdraw the ads is a way to attack free speech.
There have been few mothers who have spoken in support of Mumsnet’s position, indicating that it is unacceptable for a company to support censorship of women’s freedom to express their thoughts. Many have indicated that they will stop acquiring Flora’s products as a protest.