Labor Activists Urge George Clooney to Stop Nespresso Coffee Ads

George ClooneySwiss labor rights group Solidar Suisse has released a video calling out George Clooney for endorsing Nespresso, a Nestle coffee company that reportedly exploits workers toiling under "slave-like conditions" in Nicaragua.

The fake commercial (below) features a Clooney look-alike nearly getting clobbered by a falling piano, then getting knocked to the ground by a generic Espresso sign. "Sorry, George, that's what it feels like to be exploited as a coffeemaker," the narrator says. "Nespresso is one of the most expensive coffees but sadly is not fairly traded. George Clooney can change this. Please write to him at solidar.ch."

The Oscar-winning actor enjoys a do-gooder reputation as an ambassador for the U.N. and vocal campaigner for human rights, so we'll see how this plays out.

The Price of Fame left a message with his rep before business hours and we'll update if we hear from him. The actor had been at the Venice Film Festival presenting his new movie The Ides of March, a thriller which he also directed.

Nespresso denied
the spoof's claims, offering in a statement, "We have been committed to responsible coffee sourcing and we intend to defend Nespresso's integrity and reputation."

The ad uses music and scenery reminiscent of Clooney's genuine "What Else?" spot for the company. Clooney has been a pitchman for Nespresso for several years overseas -- a relationship Solidar Suisse urges him to rethink on its website. The copy on its home page reads: "Dear George: ... you campaign as a UN ambassador as well as a champion of peace and justice. That is truly fantastic. But promoting a company that does nothing to stop the exploitation of coffee pickers is really not right. I would therefore like to ask you make Nestlé choose: either fair trade coffee or no more George Clooney in the Nespresso commercials."

The site offers visitors a space to leave the the 50-year-old Up in the Air and Ocean's Eleven star a personal message. Paolo M. wrote, "Shame on you!"


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elc83

Why are you re-tweeting this ridiculous article from two years ago? It was false then and is false now. I love people that think George Clooney and his associates who also try to help make the world a little better, that they should be the watchdogs of everything that goes on. How much do you expect of a person, I'm amazed at how much he does keep up with events.

Why don't you get off your butt and do some good instead of knocking those that do. You cannot even write a new story you have to keep re-tweeting old garbage, you are pathetic. Remember jealousy is a terrible sin, so don't be. Do better and more than you can complain that he or someone else doesn't do enough.

September 15 2013 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MadMatt

"Communist labor organizers" exist primarily to fight for fair working conditions and adequate wages...These Nestle workers are overworked and are being paid way under what they would need to support a family or even themselves. So go ahead and brag about how well you sleep at night, enjoying your precious Nespresso at the expense of these struggling families...because you have every right. However, that doesn't change the fact that if Nestle S.A. can afford George Clooney for your amusing commercials, they certainly have more than enough money to better the labor conditions of these unrecognized workers.

September 14 2011 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert Brooks

If you got it, get it. Sounds like more union activism to me.

September 14 2011 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shoredrive

These comments are uninformed and as usual attempt to contain the world to the usual foxnews vs. msnbc tripe. Go out and experience the world, turn off the tv for a while and see how you feel.

First: Nespresso is wholly owned by Produits Nestle S.A. in Switzerland. For those of you who are uninformed, S.A. means Societe Anonyme in French which is a form of incorporation. So, this is for a SWISS company. Yes - that Nestle Quick you've fed your kids for years is >gasp< FOREIGN!!

Second: I'm certain that not one of you rubes have ever had a Nespresso. It is a beautifully designed coffee system that produces a perfect espresso every time. The coffee itself comes in single-use pods that cost about 50 cents/each. You also need a machine which costs between $250-500. Before I'm accused of being one of the mega rich for knowing this (and owning one) that is less than you might pay drinking kwik-stop coffee in three months.

Third: You've never seen the real commercial. It's played internationally, but mainly in Europe where this coffee is chiefly marketed and sold.

Fourth: It's an amazing product that is produced under strict quality controls. Every pod of coffee is made in a single factory in Switzerland. If only we had this kind of innovation in America...

Fifth: Some communist rabble rousers make a spoof commercial about the real one. The real commercials are clever and funny. Google them and watch them on youtube.

Lastly: The communist labor organizers responsible for this will not deter my purchase nor enjoyment of Nespresso.

September 14 2011 at 6:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to shoredrive's comment
MadMatt

"Communist labor organizers" exist primarily to fight for fair working conditions and adequate wages...These Nestle workers are overworked and are being paid way under what they would need to support a family or even themselves. So go ahead and brag about how well you sleep at night, enjoying your precious Nespresso at the expense of these struggling families...because you have every right. However, that doesn't change the fact that if Nestle S.A. can afford George Clooney for your amusing commercials, they certainly have more than enough money to better the labor conditions of these unrecognized workers.

September 14 2011 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
brennemanbelkin

What gets me is that Clooney made more money making one commercial than most of us will in a lifetime.
Imagine how the pickers feel.

September 14 2011 at 2:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
patriotisland

I read where Gibson is the 'only' guitar company being shut down by Obama's attack dog Holder. The Ag claims they do not want the 'legal' import of exotic wood. Gibson donates to btoh parties but the majority of donations go to Republicans.
Gibson has approx. 1200 employees and they likely will lose their jobs and America another company. The woods they purchase is from India and is done so legally. It is treated, carved, shaped, and finished in the USA by American workers. The AG syas that all these processes need to be conducted in India to make it legal.

Great job Obama

September 14 2011 at 12:39 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
seanrm92

Yes, let's rely on actors to solve the world's problems.

September 14 2011 at 12:33 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to seanrm92's comment
hyperdiamond2k

OH, LIKE RONALD REGAN?

September 14 2011 at 3:34 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
patriotisland

where is juan valdez whan you need him

September 14 2011 at 12:28 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Baby-o

That is HILARIOUS! I love seeing this jerk have someone call him uncaring and protest him for a change. How's it feel, George, you self-important pompous little...

And quit trying to play Rat Pack. They wouldn't like you.

September 14 2011 at 12:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mp700

Don't understand the comments here... Fair trade isn't just about pay level, it's also about working conditions. Coffee isn't grown in the U.S.A. so it's not as though there is a competition in the job market. We as the consumers decide the quality of the products and fair trade products are often higher quality as well as suitable for people equip with conciseness. I just got back from South America and field workers are highly exploited. It is every humans right to strive for a better life. That is what fair trade offers.

If America ever becomes a great industrial nation again, we will demand fair trade because it is right. Fair trade is more expensive and that is why we ship our manufacturing jobs over seas to under developed nations instead of keeping industry here in America where we have statutes on working conditions. Our lack of commitment to fair trade is part of what lost us our jobs in the first place.

September 13 2011 at 11:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply