Maintaining consistent branding through your marketing is
essential to the overall brand identity of your business.
Controlling the behaviour of other entities and networks related to
a particular brand can be difficult. A social media backlash
following a recent promotion by a Pizza Hut franchised store in
Melbourne has demonstrated the importance of establishing policies
for all entities linked to a brand, not just for the company
itself. This incident also highlights the importance of
franchisor's keeping a close eye on their franchisee's
social media activities.
The Melbourne Pizza Hut franchisee promised consumers a free
small animal with the purchase of any 10 of their large pizzas.
In-store signage read "Buy any 10 large pizzas and get one
small animal from Pets Story (a local pet shop)." Fury was
sparked amongst social media users and as a result the Australian
animal rights group Oscar's Law became aware of the promotion.
This was a particularly contentious issue for Oscar's Law as
the group opposes the sale of animals in pet stores in general and
so they posted an image of the sign to their Facebook page.
Shortly after, a Victorian spokesperson for Pets Story and
senior employee indicated to the public that the sign had been
incorrectly printed and should have said "free animal
Pizza Hut Australia also took to social media to apologise for
the outrage caused and even thanked Oscar's Law for causing the
commotion which brought the mishap to Pizza Hut's attention.
The franchisor's response also revealed that the promotion was
not approved by Pizza Hut Australia. The franchisor did not condone
the giving away of live animals in any context. The sign has since
Because social media is instantaneous, aggrieved parties no
longer need to contact a company directly to air their complaints.
Given the nature of social media, the comments put pressure on the
franchisor to rectify the issue quickly. However, what this case
really emphasises is the importance of having policies in place
that ensure consistency is maintained across all brand management ,
such as in the case of a franchisor and franchisee relationship.
The actions of one rogue franchisee have the ability to tarnish the
franchisor's entire brand and cause irreparable damage to its
goodwill in the brand. So our key tips are to keep a close eye on
the social media activities of your franchisees, subsidiaries and
affiliated entities and make sure that you have proper controls in
place in the event that something goes wrong.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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