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A mysterious website exposed Oatly conspiracies and scandals. It turns out, the company was behind it.

Alex Bitter   

A mysterious website exposed Oatly conspiracies and scandals. It turns out, the company was behind it.
  • Plant-based milk brand Oatly created "F*ck Oatly," a website outlining its own scandals.
  • Oatly says it's trying to be transparent and doesn't want "to hide from moments like these."

Last fall, a website called "F*ck Oatly" appeared. It detailed the company's PR mess-ups and scandals, including its legal battle with a smaller plant-based brand and its sale of oat residue to pig farms.

The entity behind it: Oatly itself.

"Why would we build such a website? That's a great question!" the opening paragraphs of F*ck Oatly read. "For starters, it's super convenient to have the latest boycotts and criticisms all in one place."

"But more importantly, we're not the type of company to hide from moments like these," it goes on. "We see all the negative headlines, posts and petitions as an inevitable consequence of trying to create positive societal change."

Visitors to the website can click through to webpages outlining several of Oatly's missteps over the years. One focuses on "Glebe Gate," or Oatly's lawsuit against UK-based Glebe Farm, which makes a rival oat beverage called "Pure Oaty." Oatly sued the company, claiming that the product's name was too similar to its own — a move that drew public objections from some Oatly consumers.

The entry, like others on the website, takes an irreverent tone. "In the end, we lost the court case, which was deeply upsetting to our lawyer, because lawyers like to win their cases and then retire to their studies," the Glebe Gate page says.

Another page, called "The Residue Ruckus," explains a 2018 incident when Oatly sold oat byproducts from its production line to a pig farm. The decision drew criticism from vegan consumers, the website says, since the oat residue was used to feed pigs that would later be slaughtered and sold for meat.

Toward the bottom of the website, an icon of a pack of dynamite sits with the text: "New scandal coming soon."

Oatly did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider. Brendan Lewis, EVP of global comms and public affairs at Oatly, told PR Week that the company launched the website in October but waited until it started gaining web traffic to promote it.

"We weren't going to come out and say, 'Oatly today announces a new website that highlights company missteps.' That's not legitimate," he said.

For Oatly, self-deprecating marketing campaigns are nothing new. In an ad aired during Super Bowl LV in 2021, Oatly CEO Toni Petersson performed a jingle about the brand. In the song, Petersson repeated the line "Wow, no cow" multiple times while playing a keyboard.

The plant-based milk brand was ready for a negative response to the spot: Shortly afterward, it started selling t-shirts featuring Petersson and the text "I totally hated that Oatly commercial." The shirt sold out in less than five minutes.

Oatly's latest campaign features a similar option. If you don't like F*ck Oatly, there's F*ck F*ck Oatly, another website where visitors can click a button confirming their disapproval of website.

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