Glam news

Oprah-s chicken Catastrophe

“The combination of free food and Oprah is a tsunami”

Oprah Winfrey‘s decision to put her name on KFC’s online coupon
promotion turned quickly into a “PR nightmare,” as described by QSRweb,
which covers the quick-service restaurant industry.
The nightmare isn’t due to Oprah’s hypocrisy in lending her name to one of the worst
chicken-abusers in the food business, but rather to the overwhelming response
of consumers demanding their promised free food.
Gawker spread a rumor that there were “riots” breaking out on Wednesday
at a Midtown Manhattan KFC outlet.

There weren’t, but there were a lot of angry people who thought
they would get a free two-piece Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal but didn’t
because the store had run out.
The coupons were promoted both on The Oprah Winfrey Show and at

A spokeswoman from KFC owner Yum Brands (YUM) told the Louisville Courier-Journal
that the promotion created “extreme” demand nationwide.

So extreme that KFC President Roger Eaton had to write a note of apology
to would-be freeloaders who flocked to Oprah’s Web site to download their coupons.

“We are so sorry,” he wrote,
“but due to the overwhelming response to our FREE Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal coupon,
we can no longer redeem the free coupon at this time.”
The company would offer rain checks, along with a free Pepsi, to those
who already had coupons, he assured.

Advertising Age called in a “crisis expert” to assess the situation.
“The combination of free food and Oprah is a tsunami,” said Robbie Vorhaus.
“Clearly KFC wasn’t ready.”

Meanwhile, almost lost amid all the hoopla is the question of why Oprah
would lend her name to KFC, which is a primary target of animal rights activists
who say the chain uses suppliers—chiefly Tyson Foods (TSN)—
that house chickens in deplorable conditions before killing them in a deplorable manner.

Oprah has repeatedly railed against factory farming and was once targeted
by the meat industry for her on-air avowal to avoid burgers.
Paula Crossfield of Civil Eats wrote that because
“Oprah has marketed herself as one who cares about animals,
even getting a ‘Person of the Year’ award last year from PETA,
this KFC campaign is a serious disappointment to say the least.”


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May 8, 2009 - Posted by | animal, fun, Oprah, Oprah Winfrey

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