WootBot


quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

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. Stop right there. 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 not going to discuss the arguments on either side of the issue. I'm only here to offer some unsolicited advice to Chick-Fil-A on their recent series of PR blunders.

Ready? Here it is:

Shut. The hell. Up.


Halloweekend 2009
The debate in a nutshell.

That's it. That's all it takes. That's all you had to do in the first place! Your political leanings should have absolutely zero impact on my desire for a sub-mediocre chicken sandwich (seriously, I don't get the "oh it's tough to boycott them because it's so delicious!" argument. I eat TACO BELL and I consider Chick-Fil-A to be substandard fare). There was absolutely no reason to stand up and take an arbitrary and meaningless stand on this particular issue. Was the nation waiting for fast food to weigh in? No.

You don't get to run a business the size of Chick-Fil-A without having some business acumen, certainly. Surely one would realize that even if this is your most vehement belief, the benefits of trumpeting it from the rooftops are far outweighed by the potential fallout. Right? If company president Dan Cathy wants to take on those issues in his personal life, great. More power to him. But even if people are beating down your office doors demanding to know Chick-Fil-A's stance on a political issue, the ONLY correct answer is: "Why do you care? We make f&%*ing chicken sandwiches. Leave us out of it." Now you've even got a mayor, a person who benefits from your business employing people in the city and paying taxes, bashing you publicly for easy political points.

But okay, you've done it. You've taken a stand for something you believe in and said your piece. Fine. Then at least have the guts to stand by it. When the Jim Henson Company announced they were pulling their Muppets toys from the restaurants, Chick-Fil-A quickly countered with a "Nuh uh! We got rid of YOU first!" and claimed they recalled the toys due to safety concerns exactly one day BEFORE the Muppets announced they were leaving. Who's being honest? I don't really know, but who felt the need to respond and wade into a public slap fight with arguably some of the most beloved childhood mascots in American culture?

Chick-Fil-A, you need to hire me to stand beside whoever makes the decisions in your company and just periodically shout, "No! STOP THAT! That's BAD!"

I'm available for $100K/year plus benefits.

And while we're at it, here's some free social media advice: DON'T PRETEND TO BE A TEENAGE GIRL AND FIGHT WITH PEOPLE ON FACEBOOK.



If you take a stand, ANY stand, some people won't like it. Part of taking a stand means you accept that. Focus on catering to your target audience, not fighting with people who have already written you off. I realize it's Business 101 to think "More Customers = More Money" but it's not that simple. You want the RIGHT customers. You want the customers who are fervent, dedicated, and will return again and again, maybe even bringing their friends. You will never win a customer by brow-beating them in a Facebook conversation about bible quotes and toy distribution. No one walks away from that discussion saying, "Y'know, a chicken sandwich would hit the spot." So why are you doing that? When you play these creepy games it makes you seem less like a company with bold-but-controversial opinions and more like a creepy, Charles Carreon-esque weirdo convinced that you can change the mind of the entire Internet.

SPOILER: It doesn't work that way.

Check out more Free Marketing Advice




Flickr photo Halloweekend 2009 by JasonParis used under a Creative Commons License.

yesthatmcgurk


quality posts: 0 Private Messages yesthatmcgurk

Goddamned right. If you don't toe the line, keep your mouths shut. Also, their sausage egg and cheese biscuit isn't the best thing that has ever graced the morning since the hair of the dog.

See you all at the next 2 minutes meeting.

Kyralessa


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Kyralessa

Stance on Chick-Fil-A noted.

I gather you would like to send Google the same message?

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/07/google-wants-legalize-same-sex-marriage-worldwide/54294/

Shut up, Google, leave the politics out of it, and just stick to search. Right?

Burning-Chrome


quality posts: 4 Private Messages Burning-Chrome

And lets not forget Chick-Fil-A is one of the very few places of business that closes all of its restaurants every Sunday, all day. How DARE they! Give them heck for this slanderous behavior too woot!

Burning-Chrome


quality posts: 4 Private Messages Burning-Chrome

And while you are harping on the business acumen of others, shall we discuss how the new hidious looking Woot site now looks more like the home page of Costco or Walmart rather than the "Woot of Old" site?

alexander5245


quality posts: 2 Private Messages alexander5245

In all fairness, Chick-fil-A is a privately held company. The owners are presumably all fundamentalist Christians, and they can use their company any way they want. If they want to risk their multi-billion dollar corporation to promote their political views, that's their right. (And they're by no means the only people who do that sort of thing - on the right or the left.)

The mayor of Boston is way out of line. There are no legal grounds for keeping Chick-fil-A out of Boston. If the city of Boston retaliates against Chick-fil-A because of the owner's views, that's a clear violation of the First Amendment.

BigSack22


quality posts: 0 Private Messages BigSack22

Woot

Why the hell do you care, you're selling basement priced electronics, cheap ass sporting goods and at least one very stale bag of pastachios.

Why do you want to be involved in the debate?

Why don't you take your own advice and Summer Time Fun Usually about it.

HawthornThistleberry


quality posts: 0 Private Messages HawthornThistleberry

While Chick-Fil-A has every right to support anything they like, and customers have every right to boycott them or not accordingly, you're really understating this to depict it as just one guy (who happens to own the company) making a statement about personal beliefs. Chick-Fil-A has a long history of political activitism on issues related to gay rights. They're not just someone saying something that's none of anyone's business; they're using their actual revenues to fund actual efforts to change policy (or prevent change to policy) that affects actual people.

In fact, the leader "coming out" (pun intended) is great news, because now a lot more people know that their chicken-sandwich-buying lucre is being, in part, used to support politicians and initiatives to deny equal rights. If they happen to be all for denying equal rights, they know to go vote with their dollars, and vice versa. It's a GOOD thing that they know how their dollars are voting, and have been all along.

TDDAWG


quality posts: 0 Private Messages TDDAWG

Well, obviously Woot needs to hire someone to say "Stop, don't do that, that's bad" as well. I am available for 150K/year plus benefits and I will do a much better job!

jaycain


quality posts: 2 Private Messages jaycain

I took my family to Chick-Fil-A last night, and it was awesome. Your ridiculous comments about favoring Taco Bell notwithstanding (this robs you of credibility in my mind), their chicken sandwich is the bomb.

So as we're eating, my wife (a PhD psychologist by the way), says, "Did you hear the gay and lesbians are boycotting Chick-Fil-A because of their stance on gay marriage?" I contemplated this as I chewed my spicy chicken sandwich. I took sip of my diet lemonade, and said "who gives a sh*t?"

I can assure you that I don't. When I'm eating my chicken sandwich, it doesn't even cross my mind to wonder what the owner of the company thinks about gay marriage. I care about how fast I get my sandwich, what it tastes like, how much it costs, and what their health department rating is (in that order).

So b!tch and moan about this all you want. I don't care, and neither do 95% of middle America.

I never took a marketing class in my life, but I can tell you this -- the gay lobby wasn't exactly knocking down the doors at Chick-Fil-A anyway. They have a long -standing presence in the ultra-conservative Christian community. I don't think they're losing market share at all. In fact, their base customer is more likely to come to Chick-Fil-A as a counter-protest to the publicity.

ch155


quality posts: 0 Private Messages ch155

Maybe you should heed your own advice. Unsubscribed.

bsmith1


quality posts: 104 Private Messages bsmith1

Taco Bell Roolz!

Edit: Also, woot is giving them free business advice not their opinion on politics or religion. Not the same, friends.

lstaff


quality posts: 200 Private Messages lstaff

Excellently written blog post. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it, from a literary standpoint.

Oh, yeah, i also agree with your position.

BigSack22


quality posts: 0 Private Messages BigSack22
jaycain wrote: I don't think they're losing market share at all. In fact, their base customer is more likely to come to Chick-Fil-A as a counter-protest to the publicity.



Just maybe the chicken sandwich slinging fundamentalists know a heck of lot more about Marketing than Woot....

Shawn4168


quality posts: 1 Private Messages Shawn4168
If company president Dan Cathy wants to take on those issues in his personal life, great. More power to him. But even if people are beating down your office doors demanding to know Chick-Fil-A's stance on a political issue, the ONLY correct answer is: "Why do you care? We make f&%*ing chicken sandwiches. Leave us out of it."



Hmm...if you had actually researched the issue and found the actual news sources, rather than rushing to post a half-assed rant based on what you heard from a few sheep on Facebook, you would know that that is exactly what happened. The only "controversy" here comes from an interview about Dan Cathy's personal moral views (which, last I checked, he's entitled to have). Chick-Fil-A never made any sort of statement in any official capacity that condemns homosexuality or claims that they don't support gay marriage.

However, that wasn't about to stop a bunch of leftist nuts from demonizing the entire company for their skewed perceptions of the company's owner.

Chick-Fil-A has no desire to insert themselves into politics. It's the geniuses making all of the noise that are putting words in the company's mouth.

BigSack22


quality posts: 0 Private Messages BigSack22
bsmith1 wrote:Taco Bell Roolz!

Edit: Also, woot is giving them free business advice not their opinion on politics or religion. Not the same, friends.



Hard to take free business advice from someone so unwilling to use the advice that they are giving away.

bsmith1


quality posts: 104 Private Messages bsmith1
Kyralessa wrote:Stance on Chick-Fil-A noted.

I gather you would like to send Google the same message?
...
Shut up, Google, leave the politics out of it, and just stick to search. Right?



Supporting equal rights tends to go over better than advocating discrimination.

BigSack22


quality posts: 0 Private Messages BigSack22
bsmith1 wrote:Supporting equal rights tends to go over better than advocating discrimination.



So you're down with it as long as they agree with you, gotcha.

fishshapedethylbenzene


quality posts: 3 Private Messages fishshapedethylbenzene
Shawn4168 wrote:Hmm...if you had actually researched the issue and found the actual news sources, rather than rushing to post a half-assed rant based on what you heard from a few sheep on Facebook, you would know that that is exactly what happened. The only "controversy" here comes from an interview about Dan Cathy's personal moral views (which, last I checked, he's entitled to have). Chick-Fil-A never made any sort of statement in any official capacity that condemns homosexuality or claims that they don't support gay marriage.

However, that wasn't about to stop a bunch of leftist nuts from demonizing the entire company for their skewed perceptions of the company's owner.

Chick-Fil-A has no desire to insert themselves into politics. It's the geniuses making all of the noise that are putting words in the company's mouth.



Wow. Really, wow.

http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201207020001

bsmith1


quality posts: 104 Private Messages bsmith1
BigSack22 wrote:So you're down with it as long as they agree with you, gotcha.



I'm just saying from a public relations perspective, a business saying people should be allowed to do whatever they want is less likely to cause a stir than saying they should do things a certain way. Google says both sides should be allowed to do as they please, so who could be offended by that?

jaycain


quality posts: 2 Private Messages jaycain
fishshapedethylbenzene wrote:Wow. Really, wow.

http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201207020001



Not exactly a clearinghouse of neutrality there, is it. You're giving us a website that advocates gay marriage as a source?

Chick-Fil-A gives $2MM to charities that share their stance of gay marriage, and they're suddenly evil? I guess you'd rather them keep all that money to themselves. Because we know all those fundamentalist charities never do anything good for anyone, right?

I like this one esp: "Donald "Bubba" Cathy, Chick-fil-A’s senior vice president, helped launched the Marriage and Family Legacy Fund (MFLF), which “pool[s] funds for a national marriage media campaign and provide start-up grants for local initiatives to promote stable, lasting marriages."

I can't believe they'd give money to an organization that promotes lasting marriages. That's horrific!!

Shawn4168


quality posts: 1 Private Messages Shawn4168
fishshapedethylbenzene wrote:Wow. Really, wow.

http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201207020001



Despite your ridiculously biased link, that doesn't make Chick-Fil-A an anti-gay company. They're a company that donates money to a charitable organization, which itself donates a small portion of its revenue to organizations that are opposed to gay marriage. None of these organizations have a primary focus of outlawing gay marriage. That's just a stance that they happen to take in addition to a number of other views.

Saying that Chick-Fil-A hates gays because of this is like saying that The Price is Right kills puppies because Bob Barker donated money to animal shelters, which put down animals from time to time as a very small subset of what they do.

jaycain


quality posts: 2 Private Messages jaycain
Shawn4168 wrote:Despite your ridiculously biased link, that doesn't make Chick-Fil-A an anti-gay company. They're a company that donates money to a charitable organization, which itself donates a small portion of its revenue to organizations that are opposed to gay marriage. None of these organizations have a primary focus of outlawing gay marriage. That's just a stance that they happen to take in addition to a number of other views.

Saying that Chick-Fil-A hates gays because of this is like saying that The Price is Right kills puppies because Bob Barker donated money to animal shelters, which put down animals from time to time as a very small subset of what they do.



So you're saying Chick-Fil-A kills puppies? That's not cool. I don't think I'll eat there anymore.

mikeanieto


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mikeanieto

What the mayor of Boston is doing is government sanctioned discrimination and a violation of the first amendment rights of the organization and individuals involved. If you don't like or support Chick Fil A then don't patronize their business, but we should all be CHILLED by a democratically elected official threatening a privately owned business. Also, it really is funny to see this writer failing to miss the irony of needlessly injecting social issues into a place of commerce on Woot's blog!

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
Kyralessa wrote:Stance on Chick-Fil-A noted.

I gather you would like to send Google the same message?

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/07/google-wants-legalize-same-sex-marriage-worldwide/54294/

Shut up, Google, leave the politics out of it, and just stick to search. Right?



I only offer free marketing advice to companies that are getting the tar kicked out of them for their boneheaded marketing/PR strategies.

Google seems to be doing fine.

mikeanieto


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mikeanieto
jaycain wrote:Not exactly a clearinghouse of neutrality there, is it. You're giving us a website that advocates gay marriage as a source?

Chick-Fil-A gives $2MM to charities that share their stance of gay marriage, and they're suddenly evil? I guess you'd rather them keep all that money to themselves. Because we know all those fundamentalist charities never do anything good for anyone, right?

I like this one esp: "Donald "Bubba" Cathy, Chick-fil-A’s senior vice president, helped launched the Marriage and Family Legacy Fund (MFLF), which “pool[s] funds for a national marriage media campaign and provide start-up grants for local initiatives to promote stable, lasting marriages."

I can't believe they'd give money to an organization that promotes lasting marriages. That's horrific!!



Totally agree. Who should have an issue with the promotion of stable marriages? Its pretty pathetic what so called "live and let live equality activists" get upset about

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
jaycain wrote:
So as we're eating, my wife (a PhD psychologist by the way), says, "Did you hear the gay and lesbians are boycotting Chick-Fil-A because of their stance on gay marriage?" I contemplated this as I chewed my spicy chicken sandwich. I took sip of my diet lemonade, and said "who gives a sh*t?"



That's...exactly the point I was making. But okay. Consider me scolded. I guess?

phatmass


quality posts: 1 Private Messages phatmass

Wow Woot.

I mean, discriminating against people with 1024px monitor resolutions is one thing, but now you are hating on Christianity?

I don't like Woot anymore.

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
Shawn4168 wrote:Hmm...if you had actually researched the issue and found the actual news sources, rather than rushing to post a half-assed rant based on what you heard from a few sheep on Facebook, you would know that that is exactly what happened. The only "controversy" here comes from an interview about Dan Cathy's personal moral views (which, last I checked, he's entitled to have). Chick-Fil-A never made any sort of statement in any official capacity that condemns homosexuality or claims that they don't support gay marriage.



"Guilty as charged," Cathy was quoted as saying in the Baptist Press last week when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to same-sex marriage.

Note the part about his COMPANY'S SUPPORT.

ri59


quality posts: 0 Private Messages ri59

Oh the irony. Shutup and tow the line eh? Perhaps you should take your own advice "staff". Way to be bold behind your generic login. So Woot has made an official stand from the staff. Now I know where to shop (or not).

In fact I think I'm hankering for some Chick-fil-A now, and will eat there more often due to the marketing from the hate-filled left.

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
phatmass wrote:but now you are hating on Christianity?



[citation needed]

fishshapedethylbenzene


quality posts: 3 Private Messages fishshapedethylbenzene
llandar wrote:"Guilty as charged," Cathy was quoted as saying in the Baptist Press last week when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to same-sex marriage.

Note the part about his COMPANY'S SUPPORT.



Here is the part where I wish woot forums had a Like button. =)

jaycain


quality posts: 2 Private Messages jaycain
llandar wrote:"Guilty as charged," Cathy was quoted as saying in the Baptist Press last week when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to same-sex marriage.

Note the part about his COMPANY'S SUPPORT.



HIS FAMILY IS THE COMPANY! It is a closely held business. I don't understand the backlash. The guy is speaking out for something he believes, and he's giving money to
conservative Christian groups who are like-minded.

It don't make the chicken taste different.

AtlCoug


quality posts: 0 Private Messages AtlCoug

Good way for a Woot writer to appease your Amazon over lords, who seem to be in the gay marriage support camp:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017392956_amazon02.html

Maybe people should start boycotting Woot? Thanks for giving me a reason to look into what your company supports.

Teripie


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Teripie
lstaff wrote:Excellently written blog post. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it, from a literary standpoint.

Oh, yeah, i also agree with your position.



Ditto.

“Anything is a great deal at some price,” Some Rutledge Guy.

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
AtlCoug wrote:Good way for a Woot writer to appease your Amazon over lords, who seem to be in the gay marriage support camp:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017392956_amazon02.html

Maybe people should start boycotting Woot? Thanks for giving me a reason to look into what your company supports.



It's always impressive to me when people are in such a hurry to be offended that they fail to actually read what was written.

pooflady


quality posts: 20 Private Messages pooflady

Great common sense post.



When I was a kid I wanted to be older, this CRAP is NOT what I expected.

easleyml


quality posts: 0 Private Messages easleyml

I liked you before. Now I. Love. You!

lstaff


quality posts: 200 Private Messages lstaff
jaycain wrote:Not exactly a clearinghouse of neutrality there, is it. You're giving us a website that advocates gay marriage as a source?

Chick-Fil-A gives $2MM to charities that share their stance of gay marriage, and they're suddenly evil? I guess you'd rather them keep all that money to themselves. Because we know all those fundamentalist charities never do anything good for anyone, right?

I like this one esp: "Donald "Bubba" Cathy, Chick-fil-A’s senior vice president, helped launched the Marriage and Family Legacy Fund (MFLF), which “pool[s] funds for a national marriage media campaign and provide start-up grants for local initiatives to promote stable, lasting marriages."

I can't believe they'd give money to an organization that promotes lasting marriages. That's horrific!!


According to the media, this fund is actually an anti gay-marriage organization. They are not an organization that is supporting lasting marriages, they are against the lasting marriages of gays.

lstaff


quality posts: 200 Private Messages lstaff
alexander5245 wrote:In all fairness, Chick-fil-A is a privately held company. The owners are presumably all fundamentalist Christians, and they can use their company any way they want. If they want to risk their multi-billion dollar corporation to promote their political views, that's their right. (And they're by no means the only people who do that sort of thing - on the right or the left.)

The mayor of Boston is way out of line. There are no legal grounds for keeping Chick-fil-A out of Boston. If the city of Boston retaliates against Chick-fil-A because of the owner's views, that's a clear violation of the First Amendment.



And, the best thing might be to BRING them to town, have them make all that investment, and have people either go or not go, depending on their beliefs. Then, if Boston puts (away) their money where their mouth is, the site will fail and that will damage their bottom line.