Hershey's chocolate is at the center of its own #blizzard2015 – that is, it has whipped up an online blizzard of hate over its decision to stop the British and Irish import stores from selling Cadbury's (and other) chocolates made in Britain and Ireland. If social media has any real meaning for big corporations then Hershey's is about to learn that any money they've spent on managing their message on Facebook and Twitter has been wasted.

I'm at a loss to understand why Hershey's acted at all. Do they have the law on their side? Undoubtedly, but so what? How much were they actually losing in sales by allowing Irish and British immigrants buy chocolates that they grew up loving, that are a link to a home that, despite Skype, they can't touch, smell or taste?

Cadbury's is part of an Irish childhood. It is way more important than Guinness for that reason. It is tied up with memories of your father and mother treating you on a Sunday or an aunt bringing you a big bar when you aren't well or Santa leaving you a selection box on Christmas morning.

Those memories are a big part of why Irish and British people will travel miles to find Cadbury's, why they're actually excited to see those chocolates so far from home.

All of that is what Hershey's is attacking.

It is because these chocolates are as much about 'home' and childhood as about taste that the invective leveled at Hershey's is nearing meltdown. There is so much hate on Facebook (see the page Stop Hershey’s and Boycott Hershey’s) and Twitter (see @StopHersheys and @boycotthershey) being directed at Hershey's that they have to be wondering if it was really worth it to go after the imported Cadbury's chocolate bars.

If Hershey's isn't wondering about what they've unleashed upon themselves it's because the number of people who currently buy imported Cadbury's bars is so small as to be inconsequential. That is, too few people to care about, which only begs the question again: Why are they bothering?

This has all the markings of a classic case of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut or as a German might say, “Mit Kanonen auf Spatzen schießen” (shooting sparrows with a cannon).

I mean, let's face it, the amount of chocolate bought by British and Irish immigrants in the import stores where these chocolates are available is so small that it wouldn't register on Hershey's company accounts even if they were getting credit for every sale. There just aren't that many people walking into those few stores and paying the premium price for imported Cadbury's bars.

Yet there they were being quoted in the New York Times talking about their (illiterate?) customers confusing a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup with a British Toffee Crisp. “It is important for Hershey to protect its trademark rights and to prevent consumers from being confused or misled when they see a product name or product package that is confusingly similar to a Hershey name or trade dress.”

For that Hershey's is going to make sure that no Irish or British person can get that little taste from home that means so much to them? It's so petty that it's beyond belief.

They deserve the hate they're getting.

@TIME @bilsap maybe he thinks they are the same #Boycotthersheys #stophersheys #boycotthershey pic.twitter.com/w2Acm0yp22

— Stop Hersheys (@StopHersheys) January 28, 2015
However, it hasn't been all hate. There's been something of a blossoming romance, or at least a meeting of minds thanks to Hershey's stupidity.

#BoycottHershey Why should you @Hersheys dictate what chocolate we eat? British & Irish RT http://t.co/2pxgF6RY7R pic.twitter.com/uC211n8hV6

— Michele Rosborough (@micheleros) January 25, 2015
For 800 years there have been … let's call them differences … between the Irish and the British. Over the centuries the level of aggro has waxed and waned, but it was always there. Maybe all that was missing in all that time was a common enemy, a foe to unite the Irish people with the British people, help them think and act as one.

Well, they may finally have that common enemy and it's the Hershey's chocolate company. Immigrants from both lands are as one, shouting “Hey, you can Hershey's kiss my ...”

http://t.co/EYqhSlbwqz #StopHersheys #boycotthershey #boycotthersheys pic.twitter.com/xY6JXxmMBZ

— Stop Hersheys (@StopHersheys) January 27, 2015