I don’t frequent Panera Bread much since the soup-and-sandwich chain doesn’t have much of a presence in my area. However, in my future travels, you can be sure I’ll pass by that restaurant and choose another. Why? Because of the chain’s new advertising campaign, which calls ranchers “lazy” for using antibiotics.
Panera Bread has created a new Twitter account @EZChicken. Its new Facebook graphic boasts the slogan, “The road to switching to antibiotic-free isn’t easy, but it sure is tasty.” In addition, the marketing campaign contends that using antibiotics in livestock production is a lazy way for livestock producers to not care for their animals. The image includes a chicken shaped in the form of a pill with tag lines such as: “Hard work pays off eventually, but lazy pays off now.”
In response to the campaign, producer Carrie Mess wrote a scathing editorial on her blog, Dairy Carrie, that further describes the new marketing campaign. Her response was followed by an overwhelming outcry from the agricultural community, which Panera characterized as one of the loudest responses ever to one of its campaigns. Good job, guys! Check out #PluckEZChicken on Twitter.
I’m sure the company thought its campaign would help sell those expensive sandwiches and paninis. Instead, it’s quickly losing customers because of its #EZChicken campaign.
Following her blog post, Mess received a response from Panera, in which the chain promised to rephrase the campaign and eliminate references to EZChicken. You can read the response here.
While the information is still online, Common Ground has put together an excellent infographic that is going viral. The graphic reads, “The talk: 80% of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are given to livestock. The truth: People and their pets use 10 times more antibiotics than our nation’s livestock. Bottom line: Livestock producers use antibiotics for the same reason as the rest of us, to keep their animals, and our food, safe and healthy.”
Another great blog on this topic is from Mom At The Meat Counter. Read "Antibiotics In The Meat Supply: Residues Vs. Resistance."
I'm all for truth in marketing, and I don't believe in scaring folks to sell a product. Let Panera know how you feel by using the hashtag #PluckEZChicken in your conversations online.
What do you think about the ad campaign? How do you respond to a fast-food chain that calls you lazy? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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