Dear Mr Ferrier,

We are contacting you as we would like your permission to use some video footage of you at the press conference yesterday for Fonterra’s shareholder dividend announcement.  

As we will be using the clip as an example of what not to say when pressured by the media we respectively suggest you book into our next media training course.

In the meantime we hope you will remember the following advice.

Whatever the circumstances do not say “we’ve got plenty of people in our comms department that can talk to you about that.”

That is the answer you gave yesterday when asked if Fonterra supported deforestation (caused by the unsustainable palm products industry).

Next time stick to the script. It is never a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Then go back to listing your accomplishments as they relate to the policy or issue addressed in the question.

Out of interest: did you really have no idea what your company’s line was on this? Or, were you not sure of how to avoid saying ‘yes’? Or, is it only your communications department which is capable of delivering your company’s spin on the issue, whilst keeping a straight face?

A number of global corporates have recently cancelled contracts for palm products from one of Indonesia’s largest conglomerates, Sinar Mas due to its shocking environmental record. Companies like Nestle, Unilever and Burger King.

If Fonterra thinks it knows better it is obvious you will be heading into dangerous territory. It’s going to take a lot of media spin to get you through this. Luckily for you, we have an experienced team and long list of clients (mostly in the investment sector) who have made a lot of money before the public has worked out what is really going on.

We await your reply.

Bluff & Associates Media