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August 25, 2009


Kentucky Fried Cruelty?


KFC sells fried chicken in over 80 countries around the world. Its expansion into China in recent years had added even a bigger boost to the company and it is scheduled to open 300 new locations in china in the course of 2009.   KFC is part of Yum Brands, a Group that is publicly traded in the New York Stock Exchange. 

One would expect that who ever is responsible for Yum's investor relations would figure out by this point that the online bashing of KFC is costing his or her company a significant amount of money.

Try Googling "KFC", more often than not you would find “kentuckyfriedcrulety.com” in the first results page. KFC is presented as a company that mistreats animals and hides behind its own Animal Welfare Advisory Council; one that according to PETA was created to appease the public but not does not do anything substantial in the matter. Organizations such as PETA have made KFC their target and the amount of negative content out there that is ranking well and harming the Google CV of this company is staggering.

What should KFC be doing? A judgment aside from the animal cruelty aspect, KFC is a business that needs to protect its online image. There are various things that can and should be done in order to protect the brand. The very first is to acknowledge there is a problem with the online reputation of the company and not to let bad publicity go unchallenged. KFC needs to tell their side of the story and point out the progress they have made through the years on the issue of treating animals.

Another important element is being able to publicly take credit to the positive things KFC has been doing in the communities through the years. Whether it is creating jobs or donating to the local public schools, anything that KFC has done that has improved the lives of the communities where KFC restaurants are operating is something they should be sharing online with their potential customers. 

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Comments

very interesting post guys!

Search for McDonalds on Google - there are some embarrassing results there also.
Even huge companies like McDonalds need to take better care of the online reputation.

Thanks for this!
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Well done, While most small businesses won’t have the opportunity to ruin their reputations on television, you make good points regarding the response to the situation. I especially liked how you tracked the Google results over an extended time period to determine how it affected the brand.

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