PETALING JAYA: An online campaign against a bread company has prompted two companies to take up newspaper advertisements to clarify the issue.
While Gardenia Bakeries (KL) Sdn Bhd took up an ad to deny that it is a “crony company”, FFM Bhd, which makes a rival product, has claimed that it was not behind the “boycott Gardenia” campaign.
FFM's management stressed that the company had not endorsed any write-up which urged consumers to refrain from buying its competitor's products.
“There are articles circulating in various media that have urged consumers to prefer our product against that of our competitor.
“FFM wishes to distance itself from these articles and would like to stress that we are in no way responsible for these articles nor do we endorse the articles nor the attendant publicity,” FFM Bhd said in a full-page advertisement yesterday.
It also noted that the company had always believed that businesses should be allowed to operate in a fair and equitable manner that permitted free enterprise and competition.
“We have been fortunate to be able to compete in a market that shares these values,” said FFM.
An online campaign surfaced last month against Gardenia Bakeries, accusing it of being a “crony company”. The anti-Gardenia campaign also called on consumers to support rival bread company Massimo, owned by FFM.
In its advertisement, Gardenia Bakeries said it was a “myth” that it was a crony company.
“We proudly have Bernas as our bumiputra partner since 2001 in accordance with the Industrial Coordination Act. We take pride in this fact and even display this for all visitors to our factories to see.”
Gardenia Bakeries said that it purchased flour from Malayan Flour Mills Bhd and Prestasi Flour Mills (M) Sdn Bhd purely due to commercial reasons, adding that although Bernas had a stake in another flour mill, it had never been directed or coerced into buying flour from the mill.
“This speaks volume on the professionalism of the Bernas management,” the advertisement said.
The company stressed that it had never failed to make fresh products that were delivered daily, come rain or shine.
“This commitment and achievement is the envy of everyone, our competitors included.”
“This envy has resulted in the circulation of many malicious rumours and falsehood. However, underhanded tactics with racial and political overtones have been used. We all should not be a party to this exploitation and manipulation,” it said. - theStarOnline