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T-oat-ally oatrageous

28 April, 2023

If you’ve ever wondered about the negative publicity that an oat-based drink company can receive, then you should check out F*ckOatly.com, Oatly’s new and charmingly named website, entirely dedicated to guiding you through their most momentous failures and fiascos since conception. 

It’s sarcastic, littered with profanities (we hope this makes it through your spam filter…), and doesn’t shy away from the hiccups and scandals that Oatly has confronted in its journey to produce oat milk. Their timeline begins with Glebe Gate – the drama that ensued when Oatly sued Glebe Farm’s Oaty brand for copyright infringement, and passes through the time they were accused of ‘ageism, insensitivity to alcoholism and being anti-farmer’ following a 40 second advertisement encouraging dads to switch out cow’s milk for oat milk. It ends with the current spread of misinformation around their products through TikTok, and a space for an impending ‘New Scandal Coming Soon’.  

F*ckOatly is an entertaining read, and an eye-opening insight into the inevitable mass hysteria that forms in response to business decisions that won’t please everyone, even when the mission of promoting more sustainable, plant-based diets remains central to the way the business operates. Perhaps the progressive nature of the mission invites harsher criticism when consumers feel let down.  

Oatly’s philosophy – that it’s sometimes better to face up to the hate to disarm it – is cleverly and humanely executed here. But if you disagree, and hate Oatly, and F*ckOatly, then you’re kindly directed you to F*ckF*ckOatly.com, a website which invites you to click a button to cathartically express your discontent. So far there have been 255,511 angry people, an impressive increase of 1000 while this article was being written. 

By Rosie Serlin

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