(Gawker) - Many brands would kill for a hugely popular, entirely fan-fueled International "holiday" dedicated to expressing affection for their product by buying it by the boatload.
But Nutella, which had exactly that in World Nutella Day, decided instead to kill it.
The annual celebration of all things Nutella was ordered to cease and desist by Ferrero, the hazelnut spread's manufacturer.
Founder Sara Rosso, who launched World Nutella Day in 2007, announced the news late last week:
On May 25, 2013, I’ll be darkening the World Nutella Day site, nutelladay.com, and all social media presence (Facebook, Twitter), in compliance with a cease-and-desist I received from lawyers representing Ferrero, SpA (makers of Nutella).
Seven years after the first World Nutella Day in 2007, I never thought the idea of dedicating a day to come together for the love of a certain hazelnut spread would be embraced by so many people! I’ve seen the event grow from a few hundred food bloggers posting recipes to thousands of people Tweeting about it, pinning recipes on Pinterest, and posting their own contributions on Facebook! There have been songs sung about it, short films created for it, poems written for it, recipes tested for it, and photos taken for it.
The cease-and-desist letter was a bit of a surprise and a disappointment, as over the years I’ve had contact and positive experiences with several employees of Ferrero, SpA., and with their public relations and brand strategy consultants, and I’ve always tried to collaborate and work together in the spirit and goodwill of a fan-run celebration of a spread I (to this day) still eat.
I have hope that this is not a goodbye to World Nutella Day forever, for the fans’ sake, and hopefully it will live on in one form or another in the future.
Though the Cult of Nutella will undoubtedly survive this bizarre move in the name of "brand equity," many of the snack's devotees took to the World Nutella Day Facebook page to express their outrage.
"Nutella...more nuts in company management than in every jar," wrote one well-liked commenter. Suggested another: "How about 'Spread-That-Must-Not-Be-Named Day'..??"