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Revolting Image Causes Burger King PR Crisis

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This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King.

The above image and caption were posted on 4Chan website on July 16th, 2012. According to Yahoo’s Shine blog: it was a mere 15 minutes for the online hacking group, “Anonymous” to track down the alleged culprits and reveal them to the world.

Turns out, the origin of the photo is a Burger King employee from one of the Northwest Ohio locations.

Burger King Corp. said it was “taking the issue very seriously” and won’t tolerate employees violating the chain’s strict procedures for handling food.

“The franchise has taken swift action to investigate this matter and has terminated the three employees involved in the incident,” the company said in a statement to the Daily News

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The interesting thing about this story is that more and more of these incidences are rearing their heads in the age of social media. PR daily had an interesting comparison on the subject:

Perhaps this incident reminds you of the social media firestorm that hit Domino’s Pizza after two employees posted a video to YouTube showing them defiling food.

The video went viral and the pizza chain experienced a swift PR backlash, partly because it waited days to respond. Ultimately, Domino’s launched a Twitter account to answer questions about the incident, posted a notice on its website, and filmed a YouTube video of its CEO responding to the crisis. The multi-pronged effort helped stem the tide of negative attention, but its effects linger online. Google “Domino’s Pizza” and on the first page of results is a news story on the matter.

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It’s becoming increasingly important these days that companies issue more than just a “statement” to the press. Consumers are looking to be addressed directly, and accountability is a key factor in alleviating these types of situations. There’s no word on Burger King’s next move – but it’s in their best interest to start talking to their consumers!


What do you think Burger King should do?

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