Panera Bread’s Lazy Response to Offensive Promotional Campaign

Chuck Zimmerman

Panera EZChickenIt looks like Panera Bread has heard from the countryside. However, to date, their response has been lazy at best. Earlier this week Carrie Mess brought to our attention the Panera Bread campaign all about the EZChicken which implies that farmers raising chickens and using antibiotics are lazy. It has launched a grassroots campaign on Facebook and Twitter. Just follow #PluckEZChicken. So what is Panera’s response? Here’s one they’ve put on Facebook:

We truly didn’t mean to offend the farming community with the posts and apologize for how the campaign was received. We have incredibly strong and personal relationships with our farmers and we could not be the company we are today without their hard work. We appreciate the feedback on how EZ Chicken was received and are removing all references to it from our posts on Facebook and Twitter.

You’ll also be interested to read about Carrie’s phone call with Michael Simon, Chief Marketing Officer for Panera.

So, what do you think? Just because they deleted the Twitter EZChicken account and took down some images doesn’t seem to be much of a response. The website still has the pill capsule EZChicken with inflammatory language. I’d like to see a blind taste test to see if antibiotic free chicken tastes better like Panera claims. How about you? Do you know of any such research?

I visited with the manager of my local Panera this afternoon. I asked him if he was aware of the new Panera EZChicken campaign. He said that he thought he’d seen something about it on the internet. I asked him if chicken raised antibiotic free tastes better than chicken that might have been treated with antibiotics. He said that he had no idea and that the chicken they serve has always tasted the same to him. So, I guess there’s not much communication at the store manager level on things like this.

Animal Activists, Food, Wackos