01 November 2005

More fast food fuferah

Not quite as good as McDonald's (ahem) well thought out PR campaign, but still egg on the face of a major fast food chain.

Wendy's teamed up with TSN for the Wendy's Kick For a Million promotion and Brian Diesbourg's entry was selected from the gajillions of ballots for a shot to successfully kick a field goal and win $1 million.

And good for Brian--he did it. No small feat whatsoever. And from what I was told, and read in various reports, it was a nailbiter: missing the first few kicks but he did it when it counted. Yea for him (really -- no sarcasm -- I know I couldn't do it). Twenty-five years old and a millionaire. BCE (the parental unit to TSN) even sent out a
media release about it.

This was meant to be a happy, make your insides as gooey as Wendy's Bacon Mushroom Melts on their trademark square patties.

But according to
contest rules and regulations, the purveyors of the Official Hamburger of the CFL isn't really giving Mr. Diesbourg $1 million. They are giving him annuity that pays out $25K/yr for four decades...should he live that long, he'll be 65ish when the final cheque is cashed.

People are all up in arms about this.

I don't know why. Really. I mean, it was clearly stated in the rules and online promo info that if the selected one were successful, he/she/it would wait an awfully long time before collecting the last payment. But, you know, when you keep saying "kick for a million" people expect the winner to get the money all at once...or at least within the next quarter-century. People were so upset they were actually staged a mini-boycott of the fast food chain last Friday.

Of course, Wendy's is currently looking like the Biggie-Sized heartless corporate giant because they aren't budging on contest rules.

Mr. Diesbourg is a very gracious winner--he doesn't seem to be bothered at all by this. He's just thrilled he did it and he's got a nice income supplement for the rest of his working days *and* a CFL team is interested in him.

It's obvious Wendy's never suspected anyone would successfully kick the fieldgoal, otherwise why would they choose such a lame way to do the payout? It's also obvious that they never figured out that people actually read and report info in media releases. Gee...no wonder Canadian Press has deemed it a
PR nightmare.

Maybe this will teach the Marketing and PR gang: assume the contest will be won; assume the fans care.

as always,


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