Top Kenyan brewer Keroche Breweries yesterday claimed on social media it was seeing slow business as its competitors are using ethnic politics as a sales strategy to dissuade customers from buying its products, assertions that shocked Kenyans.
It all started on Sunday when the company posted on its social media pages it would be holding a press conference to discuss emerging issues unfamiliar to the corporate world.
“CEO,@tabithakaranja to address a press conference shortly on use of hate speech in business marketing Marketing during elections,” Keroche Breweries tweeted.
Later, Keroche Breweries boss Tabitha Karanja posted on Twitter that the trends by competitors are “marketing schemes bordering hate speech” and dangerous for business in the region.
“We,@KerocheBrewery wish to alert the Kenyans some product marketing schemes which will badly compromise consumer and Kenya’s interests,” she said.
Her post elicited several reactions from her over 6,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook.
Egadwa Mudoga complained of how multinationals could use such unethical strategies to harm Kenyan companies.
Another Twitter user posted: “All those mzungus in the UK who own EABL prolly laughing at us for ridiculing [email protected] is more Kenyan than Tusker is!”
“However, others feel that businesses should avoid associations with politicians and perharps the problems facing Keroche are self inflicted,”Anthony Kagiri said.
“In future, it would be wise to avoid featuring politicians in your ads,” @kahehura claimed.
Keroche however maintained that its products should be perceived “as national and judged on quality and not on the grounds of politics or tribe”.
“This kind of strategy is also counterproductive for everybody who understands that Kenyan products are national. Products are not manufactured for communities or regions. The only qualification any product should have is quality,” the company said.
According to Keroche, it has written to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission — which has in the past claimed use of hate speech is on the rise in the wake of the general elections, even shutting down a number of blogs — to check into the matter.
The issue is expected to unfold on Wednesday when the National Media Monitoring Steering Committee has a sitting with journalists, where it will seek to raise a red flag on increasing use of hate speech by politicians.