Thursday, April 14, 2005

Tough PR 

This story is interesting and a case when a company has to make an example of a customer. Although it isn't clear yet, it is beginning to look as if the woman dropped the finger into the chili to blackmail the company. Wendy's didn't buy her story and even though the woman is withdrawing her suit, Wendy's isn't backing off.

The restaurant chain is going to make an example of this woman and probably prosecute her if she is found to have contaminated her meal. That's as it should be. No company can tolerate the destruction of its reputation that such an instance can cause. Pepsi proved that a claim of needles in its cola was a case of deliberate contamination and the individual was jailed. Other companies have proved similar cases to be false and attempts to make easy money.

Public relations is a two-way street. The customer owes honesty in the relationship as much as the company does, but when a customer violates trust, the company should show no mercy. Why? Because lawyers will show no mercy to the company.


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