Friday, May 8, 2009

Lessons from Oprah's KFC giveaway

It's been three days since pictures of angry people denied their free two-piece chicken dinner filled our TV screens. What have we learned?
1. Reuters learned nothing. Their columnist bashes KFC for even existing. Sorry guy, but KFC tastes good.
2. Who bore the brunt of unhappy customers? Was it the decision-makers, or the cashiers and managers of the stores that met the free dinner quota for the day? Whatever decisions Congress or President Obama make, they usually don't have some unhappy person yelling directly in their ear.
3. Oprah's more popular than the World Series. Taco Bell - part of the same company - has given away a free taco during at least the last two World Series, and no word of upset customers. They did limit the giveaway to one afternoon between the lunch and dinner rushes.
4. Free doesn't automatically make people grateful. It may even make them more demanding.

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