Dan Cathy

The last few years, we’ve seen a divide in politics—bigger than we’ve seen in generations. In the U.S. … The most loyal of the Democrats and Republicans are each digging in deeper. Around the world, we are seeing the same divide … If your entire brand is about healthcare, I get that you should have a position on anything to do with healthcare. … But if you are selling organic groceries, fried chicken, washing machines or laptops, you’d be really stupid as a brand to pick a side and speak out. I love politics, but I love making money even

William Randolph Hearst, who had no fear of stretching the truth to its breaking point, would shake his head in amazement if he could see what happens on social media. Sensationalizing newspaper stories to increase circulation has been replaced with controversy-stoking fires designed to increase page views and clicks. Truth in commentary is optional. "Yellow journalism," as it was once called, affects more than website traffic and print circulation. It can be used to alter brand image by manipulating social platforms, search engines and traditional news outlets. If the company doesn't respond or responds poorly, the results can be long lasting and lethal.

Right or wrong, neither Dan Cathy nor Chick-fil-A have much to lose in offending gay and lesbian couples. Why do I make this claim? Because these couples are simply not the target audience that Chick-fil-A depends on to keep their sales up. As a brand, Chick-fil-A has positioned itself in what the restaurant industry refers to as the family dining segment. … So who do family dining restaurants target as customers? … Middle-class or affluent moms between the ages of 24 and 45, who live in households that have one to four kids under the age of 12.

You've probably heard of the ruckus by now, but in case you haven't: Fast food chain Chick-Fil-A has been in the news recently because their owner came out as pro- "traditional marriage" or, as the media have spun it, anti-gay rights. Stop. I see you mousing over the comment button, ready to take me to task for daring to tackle such a hot button issue on a commerce site. Well, I'm not. I'm only here to offer some unsolicited advice to Chick-Fil-A on their recent series of PR blunders.

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