Kinder Suprise eggs

Ferrero has barely put a foot wrong in recent years, particularly in its development of the Kinder brand - once again the UK’s fastest growing chocolate brand this year.

But it’s now facing surely the biggest crisis in its 70-year history. On the eve of Christmas a report in The Sun has claimed the toys for its iconic eggs - whose very name means children - are being made by Romanian boys and girls, some as young as six, in appalling slave labour conditions.

So, one would have expected Ferrero to make very, very sure everyone knew it was condemning the allegations unequivocally, and apologising unreservedly. But no.

Sure, when asked, Ferrero issued a statement saying it was investigating urgently. But its messaging to consumers was troublingly lacking.

At the time of writing, its websites still featured no reference to the controversy - despite prominent pledges on the site on palm oil, ethics, social responsibility etc.

This is crazy and may well end up in Ferrero not just losing goodwill this Christmas but incurring a permanent stain on its reputation.