Cadbury Dairy Milk has found itself in the precarious position of either having to review its terms of the “In our own words” campaign or call it off altogether after it was introduced a month ago.
This new development came up after the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) warned creatives not to take part in the above campaign citing that its terms were unethical and amounted to subjecting writers to degrading treatment while taking away their intellectual rights.
It all started when Cadbury’s launched the campaign with intention to encourage the reading culture in children by collating stories written by Kenyans for Kenyan children. During the launch, the company said, “…Africa is not truthfully represented in their children’s books. The chocolate company has taken it upon itself to change this. Cadbury wants to ignite a love for reading in children by making contemporary Kenyan storybooks they can relate to available for everyone.”
That was good enough but it was the subsequent conditions that really sparked anger and condemnation from creatives as many termed it worse than paying them by exposure as has been the norm of most organizations.
In their conditions for the campaign, Cadbury Dairy Milk said: “Sharing an original story from your own home country will be used to create storybooks with modern-day storylines that children would be able to better relate to. This is a wonderful act of generosity and kindness.”
“The original stories collected through the campaign will live in the Cadbury Dairy Milk #InOurOwnWords digital library and be used across various platforms associated with the initiative. The rights to the stories created remain with Cadbury Dairy Milk and its campaign partners.”
A week after a spirited fight, KECOBO has weighed in by warning the public not to share their stories until Cadburys recognizes authors’ rights.
“Be warned! The public is advised to avoid the campaign until authors’ rights are well recognised and paid for,” said KECOBO on their Twitter handle.