This week Vain Hair (self proclaimed ‘Food Babe’) waged her own little mini-war on social media against Boar’s Head Meats (go ahead and give them a facebook like) originally because in her crack research she couldn’t find their ingredient list.
Seems Miss Hari is unfamiliar with the process of purchasing from a deli counter.
At any rate, when she found that the ingredient list is readily available to customers, she then turned her sights onto the ingredients themselves.
Of course, this is not unusual for her, this is her standard modus operandi to line her own coffers. So what makes this different? We’ll show you.
This time, Vain asked all of her followers to harass the company on their facebook page.
Yes, she’s done this in the past, but this time she did a couple of video broadcasts, in which she publicly labeled people, and their facebook profiles, as ‘paid shills’ for dissenting with her ‘researched opinions’.
She requested that all of her followers ignore anyone that disagreed and simply call them a troll or a PR shill.
And so they did.
However, her mission was a complete failure and ended up in the Boar’s Head facebook page garnering thousands of additional page likes.
You can’t call a bunch of facebook groups and pages with tens of thousands of members, all ‘paid PR trolls’ without some backlash, after all.
So Vani reacted as only she can; she doubled down, proclaiming herself and all of her “army” as victims of harassment and abuse.
Funny though, that according to Vani herself, she had her staff contact Boar’s Head via email and her army harassed their public page while she remained in the background, never getting her hands dirty (except for cheering from the sidelines via her updates as though this were ongoing trench warfare and she was the commander watching through field glasses).
According to this recent post on Facebook, the only ‘legitimate’ customer concerns were from the winged monkeys she sent there to deluge (aka troll) their page in one of her ongoing attempts to blackmail a company.
Her loyal following would never buy deli meats in the first place and many of them have publicly attested to that on her on page, whilst claiming to Boar’s Head that they do purchase their products. That’s not a ‘legitimate customer’.
That, my friends is the definition of a troll.
Reading this post however, I am curious as to what this astroturf facebook page is? According to Vain, any time someone posts something positive about genetic modification in crop production she claims they’re being paid by Monsanto.
Pro-vaccine posts are paid by ‘big pharma’ and liking Captain Crunch means you’re paid by “big food”.
So where is this astroturf page that funnels millions of dollars to facebook users to post about myriad companies, technologies and sciences that aren’t even related to one another? I’d love to know and sign up for some of this apparently free-flowing cash.
Perhaps Vani doesn’t really know what the word means though, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time.
Next, we get to the martyr complex. In this post (subsequent to the one pictured above), Vain claims to be abused and threatened, though like everything else she shows no citations.
If she was threatened, that’s wrong.
But I rather doubt there were any actual threats because in the past, she hasn’t been reticent about sharing them publicly.
The “bloodbath” she references is a ridiculous over characterization of facebook arguments, and how she can choose to use the word in reference to a few stupid facebook memes when there is actual bloodbath occurring in the world today is truly disgraceful.
While it’s extremely hypocritical of Vain to blame dissenting opinions on paid PR trolls, it’s not so surprising.
This past summer, Vain employed a brand strategist of her own, one who was formerly employed at Kraft as Senior manager of “Trend Activation”.
According to this strategist, who also counts among her previous clients and employers; Frito Lay, Hagen Daaz, Nestle and McDonald’s, she advised Food Babe on “how to convert her 800,000+ blog followers into evangelists and inspire them”.
So this particular onslaught has all the earmarks of a PR stunt.
You see Vain’s credibility has been in the toilet this year, for good reason, after many mainstream publications such as NPR, Forbes and Salon have shown her tactics to be disingenuous at best and deceptive in practice.
In fact, during one of her videos, prior to unleashing her army upon an unsuspecting meat company, she claimed that she wasn’t a corporation, she was “just a girl”.
Sorry, had to regain composure there. Clearly she doth protest too much.
Food Babe LLC is a limited liability company registered in Delaware and Vani does nothing for free. Her speaking engagements are paid, her food guides will cost you a monthly fee and of course “buy my book’.
She inspires fear with one hand while offering a product to subsume that fear on the other – of course that product always comes with a kickback for Food Babe LLC.
I’ve no problem with a for profit business unless it masquerades as a non-profit, activist organization.
It seems that her PR strategy is to create a tremendous outcry about nothing (the ingredients used in Boar’s Head Meats are perfectly safe and disclosed on the package according to FDA and USDA requirements), send the army to attack others on social media and then proclaim herself a martyr to the cause. The above photo is only one example of her recent claims to martyrdom.
She’s been building up to this over the past six months (about the time she hired the strategist) by sharing credit for non-existent ‘victories’ over such companies as Starbucks and Subway with her followers, telling them that ‘they’ did this and she’s just a poor little activist.
This has the psychological impact of imbuing her followers with a sense of accomplishment in a world where they feel increasingly powerless (plus, our current political climate plays well into increasing that need for control).
While Vain didn’t even contact Boar’s Head herself, nor post on their facebook (she left her army to hang out to dry on that one) she still claims to protect her army and take the brunt of the awful and horrendous behavior that she claims occurred.
Why would anyone want to be martyred as opposed to victorious on social media you might ask? It lends itself to her narrative of any big company being inherently evil.
That’s why she selects large companies to target with her campaigns of misdirection.
She knows that she can better deflect the criticism of her lack of facts by playing the role of the underdog, especially when it comes to the organic food buyer who seems to still be completely unaware that the organic business segment is in the 10s of billions of dollars annually.
What do you do when you want to save the little guy or the underdog? You scream and shout and you lend their business your support with your hard earned dollars.
Time will tell if this is an effective PR strategy or not.
I’m betting that it may be successful but only for a very limited time. People, especially Americans, tire easily of having to defend the victim again and again and again.
Ultimately they will start to ask themselves why she is always being denigrated and that perhaps there is a reason that is of her own making. I won’t shed a tear when her house of cards comes tumbling down around her.
So getting out the pants on fire meter – this one is over the top, off the charts, get me the kelvin scale pants-on-fire. Vain knows that she hasn’t been abused.
She also knows full well that the companies she attacks provide safe products, she knows that she is extorting companies and she knows that she is misleading vulnerable people for her own gains.
Stop the bullshit already Vani and get yourself a real job. Put your internet popularity to some actual good use like helping to feed kids that are hungry here in the US and around the world.
Those kids are the true martyrs and victims in the war you’ve waged so stop it already.
Update: I edited this to show proof that she’s knowingly deceiving people, or at least trying to.
The person she’s responding to has been banned on her facebook page and many others chimed in to agree that they too have been banned from all of her social media accounts (**note: this author has been banned/blocked on facebook, twitter, instagram and periscope).
Thanks for proving my point, Vani!
Don’t forget to stop in and give Boar’s Head some support!
That’s all for now folks!