“We had to set things straight”

Astrid Gade Nielson of Danish firm Arla Foods discusses crisis communications and the Muhammad cartoons

When the Muhammad cartoons were published in autumn 2005, could you foresee that this would have an impact on Arla Foods?
When the cartoons were published in October 2005, that started a big dispute between Danish muslims and the newspaper which had published them. There was a heated debate, and the tension and discussion didn’t go away but increased. In November or December 2005 a delegation of Danish muslims went to the Middle East to tell their peers about what was going on in Denmark. They wanted to create support on an international scale, trying to steer the newspaper towards an apology.

Astrid Gade Nielsen

Astrid Gade Nielsen has been corporate communication director at Arla Foods since 2002. She holds a university degree from the University of Aarhus, which she obtained in 1987. In 2006 and 2007, Nielsen was voted the best communication director in Denmark by Danish journalists.