KFC Claims Rat Story a Hoax, Truth or PR Overdrive?

KFC

Just days after it was claimed by a person in California, that KFC had served him ‘nasty fried rat’ instead of its much acclaimed ‘finger lickin’ chicken tenders, the company has responded to the allegations. KFC has claimed that the rat story was a hoax, but the question that arises out of their statement is, if the company is telling the truth or is it going into a public relations (PR) overdrive? If it is proven that the outlet in Los Angeles did, in fact, serve Devorise Dixon a fried rat, it would result in a marketing and PR nightmare for the fast food giant.

Dixon uploaded on Facebook, a photo of something that resembled a breaded and fried rat that was served to him in his take home of chicken tenders. His post and a video went viral on the social networking website. However, the global fast food chain has now responded to Dixon’s allegations. KFC responded to the claims by mentioning that the serious allegations made by Dixon were not backed by solid evidence or proof apart from the photos shared by him. The company also informed that Dixon had refused to cooperate with them in the investigation. It must be reported that KFC had promised to pay for all the expenses incurred for conducting an independent investigation by a scientific laboratory.

KFCKFC further went on to explain that the photo posted by Dixon, did not include a photo taken from another angle as that would have brought out the true picture of the chicken tender in question. The fast food giant claimed that a photograph taken from another angle would have clearly shown that it was a piece of white meat chicken which is hand-breaded. Using these arguments, the company has claimed that Dixon’s real intentions were to deceive people and they are considering all legal options against him. KFC has claimed that Dixon’s rat story was a hoax, but the question that arises out of their statement is, if the company is telling the truth or is it going into a PR overdrive and strategizing to protect its image?

It is a fact that all the major fast food chains have been under pressure in recent years due to shrinking profit margins and changing eating habits of people in the U.S. as well as across the world. People are becoming conscious about their eating habits and switching to a healthier diet. Additionally, the latest ruling from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S., about eliminating the amount of trans-fat within the next three years from all the food being served, is bound to force the fast food chains to reform and reinvent their cooking styles and ingredients.

KFC also shared pictures to support their claim. The photo shared by Dixon however, showed a part of the tender which clearly resembled a rat’s tail. As mentioned earlier, it would prove to be disastrous for the global fast food chain’s brand image if it is successfully proven that Dixon’s claims were correct. This issue does not seem to be dying out anytime soon. For now, KFC has claimed that Dixon’s rat story was a hoax, but the question that arises out of their response is, if the company is telling the truth or is it going into a PR overdrive to save its image?

By Ankur Sinha

Sources:
USA Today-KFC denies fried rat claim
BoingBoing-KFC disputes gentleman’s claim that he was served a deep fried rat
The Indian Express-Days after ‘rat fry’ goes viral, KFC calls a hoax

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