Marketplace Scratch Pad

Companies looking like boobs

Scott Jagow May 8, 2009

Two PR blunders worth mentioning, and they both involve breasts. KFC has reneged on a coupon for a free grilled chicken meal because hordes of people were beating down KFC’s doors to cash it. Marks and Spencer is reversing its new bra pricing policy because hordes of big-breasted women were threatening to storm the British retailer.

Marks and Spencer caused the revolt by charging a 2 pound ($3) surcharge for bras DD or larger. Two British women promptly created a Facebook group called Busts 4 Justice in protest, and membership grew to 14,000. The group promised to show up at the M & S annual meeting if the policy wasn’t changed.

M & S caved. In several national newspapers today, full-page ads show full-figured women in lacy green lingerie. M & S chairman Stuart Rose apologized:

“We always try to do the right thing by our customers and we thought we had, but it’s clear we’ve got it wrong this time. From Saturday, no matter whether it’s large or small bras you need, the price will be the same.”

The response from Busts 4 Justice:

“We are really happy to say that, thanks to the members of Busts 4 Justice, M&S have decided to abolish the tit-tax, and from now on will be operating a one-price-fits-all policy across their ranges.

Busts 4 Justice remain committed to making things better for busty women on the high street, but for now we’re happy just to be able to encourage all ladies to reward themselves and their boobs with some properly fitted, fairly priced lingerie.

As for KFC, it promoted a coupon for a free grilled chicken meal at the website, unthinkkfc.com. Let me warn you, if you click on that link, you will see very disturbing images of people dancing like chickens. Proceed with caution.

Anyway, the promotion was mentioned on Oprah. Need I say more?

So many people showed up to get their two-piece meal, KFC didn’t have enough chicken. The company called off the promotion. But there were enough angry customers that KFC is now offering rain checks.

All you have to do is go to a KFC restaurant, ask for a rain check form, fill it out, mail it in with your original coupon, and then wait by the mailbox for KFC to send you a new coupon, which is good for the same meal plus a free Pepsi.

I know. It’s too good to be true. But hurry. The offer must be postmarked by May 19.

Here’s KFC’s South African-born chairman Roger Eaton apologizing. Seriously, Roger, is there any way you can erase the image in my head of the people dancing like chickens? Please?

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