Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about how the president of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, feels about same sex marriage. In an interview with the Baptist Press he took a controversial stance and created an uproar that might have put the fast food joint in jeopardy.
Interestingly enough, this move did wonders for his bottom line. Anti-gay marriage supporters dedicated an appreciation day to the chain, giving it one of the highest grossing sales days it’s ever had.
As a public relations professional, I have to wonder: was Mr. Cathy’s public stance on such a controversial issue intentional? It came to my attention that almost three quarters of Chick-Fil-A locations are in the more conservative Southern states. Could this have been a planned PR move in order to boost sales primarily in these areas?
It’s an interesting thought. Marketing departments work hard to create relatable and attractive brand images. So the idea of starting a firestorm seems a bit risky. Maybe it’s a case where bad press can be good press, too.
So do you think this was an intentional move? Is it a good tactic for brands to create controversy in order to boost visibility and sales?