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Not an urban myth

Posted on March 28, 2005 by Sarah Eaton.

First I must confess that I resisted writing about this with every fiber of my being.  But it proved to be just too much to withstand:

Yes, someone found a fingertip in her Wendy's chili.  No, it's not an urban myth.  Yes, that's disgusting.  No, Wendy's isn't talking about it.

At least not on their website.  Why not?  Obviously, this is something horrible that's happened--why not come out and address it directly?  And what does this say about the relationship between corporate Wendy's and its franchisees?

March 28, 2005 in award winning design, blog publish, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, company newsletter sample | Permalink


Sarah- The Wendy's human-finger-found-in -the-chili story is the latest example of corporate paralysis in reaction to crisis.
As could be expected, the press widely reported the story - not to mention the buzz on the Internet.
My favorite headline: "Finger Lickin' Good...."

Yet, judging strictly by Wendy's Web site -the company appears to bury its head in the sand (hopefully, we won't find a head buried elsewhere) in reaction to the bizarre story. There's no information to be found on the matter. http://www.wendys.com/news/index.shtml

To be fair, the company is not silent on the matter. In a March 28 CBS News story, a company spokesman does say that "the finger did not come from the restaurant's employees" and that company suppliers are not to blame.


It's time to revisit the explemary handling of a pr crisis by Johnson & Johnson when a New York woman died after taking a cyanide-laced Tylenol capsule. For a recap, see the article from Time quoted at http://www.fhrai.com/pdp_crisis.htm

On a personal note, Wendy's chili was one of my favorite fast foods treats. I realize the odds of getting another human finger in my next order is pretty remote but I won't feel comfortable ordering another serving of the red stuff until I get a better explanation of what happened.

I wonder how the franchisees feel when they see their corporate parent reacting in this way. Are they ready to serve up another bowl?

Posted by: Susan Fisher | Mar 28, 2005 10:05:39 PM

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