What started as a campaign encouraging family activities quickly turned into a PR nightmare for Cadbury UK.
The company has been under scrutiny for its decision to launch a campaign encouraging consumers to hunt for treasure at historical sites.
The company recently marketed its Freddo Treasures chocolates with an advertising campaign that urged consumers to “grab your metal detector and go hunting for Roman riches” and other artifacts at specific sites around Britain and Ireland.
A website for the campaign suggested that adventurers “dig up Viking silver on the River Ribble,” “hunt for precious rings in Fermanagh” and “mine for Saxon gold in Chelmsford, Essex.”
“Are you willing to get your hands dirty to discover more?” the website asked, effectively comparing the act of opening a box of chocolates to searching for ancient relics. At certain sites, the ad campaign said, “the treasure’s fair game.”
Not long after Cadbury launched its campaign, archeologists on Twitter lashed out at the messages, which some called “irresponsible”: