Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Would You Do If You Were Domino's?

Domino's is facing a "buger" of a problem with its pizza!

Earlier this week, two employees of a franchise store in North Carolina posted a "store-made" video on YouTube. While a young woman narrates and laughs, a teenage boy is making a sub sandwich, allegedly for a waiting customer.

He pokes cheese up his nose and appears to pull a buger from his nose and put it on the sandwich. By one estimate, more than 700,000 people have seen the 2-and-a-half minute video. Millions will eventually see it, because it's being forwarded by folks who find it on YouTube, and who want to gross out their friends.

Domino's is being criticized by some communication experts and certainly the company's brand and quality is being battered by the disgusting video that is going "viral," as they say!

The company's statements have been pretty good, except for an initial reference to "idots." But the debate is over how aggressive and what media tools Domino's is using and should use to fight the damage being done by the video.

One of the things we learned early on at the Institute for Crisis Management is you don't always have to reinvent the wheel. Learn from other companies' failures and successes.

Domino's management should go back a couple of years and study what Wendy's did after a woman claimed to have found a human finger in a bowl of chili she ordered at a California franchise. Wendy's said it didn't make chili with fingers in it and set up a hotline offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the finger's owner. The Dublin, Ohio-based company said it lost more than $2.5 million from the negative publicity.

Wendy's reported same store sales were down more than 2-percent in the next quarter after the "finger" made news around the world. But, after a couple was arrested and convicted of trying to extort money from Wendy's the publicity turned and within the year, people were enjoying Wendy's chili again.

1 comment:

  1. Good article. We recently had this article run in Bulldog Reporter - it explains how Domino's can avoid ever having this type of issue again by employing online reputation management techniques.

    Here is the link if you would like to read more on this subject: