July 23, 2012
Our new mascot isn't Pedobear: Nestle
By QMI Agency
Nestle has issued a statement to clarify that its new mascot isn't Pedobear — the Internet symbol of pedophile behaviour — after publishing an image that resembles the notorious cartoon.
The move comes after the food company posted a photo to Instagram, a popular picture-sharing application, of a man in a bear costume drumming with two Kit-Kat bars.
Before long, folks were drawing comparisons between the costume and Pedobear, a cartoon image used to mock people who display a sexual interest in minors online.
"We produced this photo — of a real guy in a bear suit — to launch Instagram through our Facebook community," a spokeswoman for the company told The Age newspaper.
"We had never heard of Pedobear," she said. "But when the possibility of its similarity to the so-called 'Pedobear' was raised with us, we immediately removed it."
Popularized by the 4chan — the message board from which many Internet phenomena originate — Pedobear is generally used to signal to moderators and users that someone has posted illegal porn, or to call someone out on their creepy behaviour.
In recent years, it has turned up in all sorts of unlikely places, usually by accident, including CP Distributor newspaper flyers, a Polish newspaper article about the 2010 Olympic mascots and an iPhone game called "Dancing Cuddle Bear."
"Get it together," wrote David Kiefaber on AdWeek.com. "If more companies would start hiring people under 35 again, we wouldn't have to go through this every six months."