Nigerian Breweries Plc, said on Thursday that a coordinated and well-funded syndicate is trying to run down its famous premium low sugar malt drink, Amstel Malta. For a few months now, the company has been trying to identify the source of a sustained campaign by a group of individuals to smear its premium malt brand.
In August 2016, Nigerian Breweries re-launched Amstel Malta in a new Credentials Campaign tagged “Why Add More”, which was meant to reinforce the brand’s positioning in the marketplace as the Premium Malt drink of choice, with an original formulation that contains Less Sugar and is enhanced with essential vitamins and minerals.
In November, the brewer upgraded the packaging and labeling on the brand to reflect new requirements put in place by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) guidelines.
The criminals took advantage of the new packaging and labeling to spread rumours stating that there is a fake Amstel Malta in the market and pointing to the new packaging as the fake.
The Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Kufre Ekanem said: “Amstel Malta was the first malt drink to adopt the new NIS logo on its packaging and it’s is the highest mark of quality from SON.
“In the normal course of product and packaging renovation, old packaging and the new introduction co-exist in the market until the old one dries out. In view of the twelve month shelf life, we currently have Amstel Malta with both the old and new packaging in some parts of the market.
“Some yet-to-be identified third parties have been spreading falsehood about the brand through a well-funded and coordinated public campaign. One of the smear campaigns is that there is “fake” Amstel Malta in the market which has a fake NlS logo which is not approved by the SON. The activities of these third parties include the production and circulation of videos, news stories and photographs amongst others on social media.”
The Corporate Adviser said that the company was taking proactive steps to stop the spread of the falsehood by reporting it to the police, and the police are investigating
Ekanem appealed to consumers to disregard the falsehood and smear campaign and instead report it to a hotline the company has set-up to address the problem.
Consumers should forward information of person(s) spreading falsehood about Amstel Malta (name, phone number, and email address) to: WhatsApp or email: 0816 262 4553 and/or email@example.com. All responses will be collated and sent to the police to assist them in their investigation.