Crafty Kraft or a longer term Own Goal?

I read in the news earlier about Kraft’s decision to continue with the closure of the Somerdale factory in Keynsham after the takeover of Cadbury. This was despite its alleged earlier indication that it would keep it open even though plans to close it were already well advanced.

It’s not just the 400 workers at this plant and their union representatives who understandably view Kraft’s actions as a “cynical ploy” and “cruel manipulation” purely to gain public support for what was from their view an unpopular bid – though the PR from that angle would be bad enough in itself.

Lord Mandelson has joined the fray by pointing out that Kraft’s CEO would have known a week ago what the announcement would be and should have been straight.

Let’s say Kraft is willing to take the employee and union backlash on the chin. What message does the company think it’s sending out to the business world? That it’s a company of its word? That you don’t have to ‘count your fingers’ after shaking hands with one of its representatives? That it actually cares what anybody thinks of it?

I have no idea what Kraft is like as a company to work for or do business with but I know what impressions it’s giving me – and I can’t be the only one thinking it’s actions are more than a little tacky.

It may have got its way in the short term but I wouldn’t be surprised if this comes back to bite it in the you-know-where down the line.

Moral of the story for the rest of us?

Business is business and it’s not all warm and fluffy – we know that. What I can’t understand is that Kraft seems to have ignored the fact that it takes time to build and nurture a reputation and only seconds to demolish it :-(…

What are your thoughts?

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