(UPDATE: 7/25/12 2:18 p.m. Chick-Fil-A has just released a statement on its Facebook page denying its having any role in the creation of any alleged fake Facebook pages.)
Dear Chick-Fil-A, you guys can stop digging your own graves now.
What began as a veritable sh*t storm has erupted into a full-blown avalanche, with public outrage piling on left and right as a result of about a week’s worth now of PR disasters starting with COO Dan Cathy’s recent anti-gay statements.
Not only did the company lose its partnership with the Jim Henson Company, who provided the chicken chain with its latest kid’s meal finger puppet toys, but it also added insult to (its own) injury by immediately issuing a recall of the toys, citing “possible safety issues” resulting from kid’s fingers getting stuck in the puppets’ holes. A photo of the posted statement from one location in Texas can be seen below:
But believe it or not, even all that isn’t as bad as Chick-Fil-A’s latest transgression: creating Facebook accounts of fake teenage girls in a cheap attempt to defend the recall as anything other than what it is: blatant and frankly, embarrassing immaturity.
Instead of accepting the severed partnership and agreeing to disagree, some Chick-Fil-A PR genius decided to whip up a little stock image magic to comment on the company’s Facebook page and defend Chick-Fil-A’s decision to recall the toys–though it has been suggested the fake red-headed tween might have been the work of some chicken-hating saboteur.
The page, belonging to a Miss “Abby Farle,” argues the recall has been in effect as far back as three weeks ago and therefore can have nothing to do with the Jim Henson partnership, (derr). At least, that’s what she plans on going with, until one user points out her page was made only eight hours prior and therefore can only belong to the aforementioned PR-flack. Keep scrolling to see the exchange for yourself:
Really, Chick-Fil-A? The saddest part might be that the problem here isn’t so much the fake PR hack job, but the fact that it was done so sloppily, on top of the ever-massing car crash pile-up Chick-Fil-A has already found itself at the center of. Even if it was the work of an outside party, the whole exchange still looks bad from any angle. As if the thinly-coded homophobic verbiage of kids’ fingers getting stuck in holes they don’t belong in wasn’t bad enough.
Already, this avalanche of anti-chikin-sentiment has resulted in dashed expansion plans for the chain in Chicago and Boston. A letter from the office of Boston’s mayor reveals that many LGBT-friendly power players are just as willing to stick to their guns and do what they can to prevent the company from expanding anywhere that actually likes feeding all members of the general public; letter posted below:
The thing is, Chick-Fil-A has always taken pride in its pro-Christian roots, having donated millions to similarly pro-Christian, anti-gay interest groups and remaining closed on Sundays, but never before has it taken such an abrasive public stance and roused such vehemently negative feedback.
“If Mr. Cathy doesn’t do something about this really fast, he will find himself looking at declining sales and fewer familiar faces,” writes one blogger at the Huffington Post, “He may not realize it today, but in the future he will see the harm he has done to his company, employees and customers.”
The same day the toy recall was announced, Chick-Fil-A posted the following statement on its Facebook and Twitter pages: “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
Maybe it’s about time they started practicing what they preach.