Dominos, Social Media and Brand Reputation

Many of you are probably aware of how some Dominos employees made some videos, which then went viral on YouTube and sparked an outcry. ReadWriteWeb has the full story. You can see the videos here. Here’s one of the representative efforts:

What’s interesting to me is that this captures the challenge of corporate PR in an era of social media. The USAToday piece on the subject offers some recommended guidelines about how to handle such a situation as well as how to minimize the risk of having something like this happen.

However, in my mind, it’s not simply a question of guidelines and damage control; it’s about rethinking how you do business in an entirely new era.


If your brand is already on shaky ground something like this can bring it down. Whereas, if it’s otherwise strong, an incident like this will likely constitute a blip that can be addressed with prompt action.


4 Responses to “Dominos, Social Media and Brand Reputation”

  1. Payday Loan Centers-Consumers Beware! | Cash Advance America Says:

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  2. MiriamEllis Says:

    This incident immediately brought to mind last year’s similar disaster involving some teenage boys employed by a minimart making an obscene video in the store after hours. In both cases, legal action was taken against the people responsible for the videos.

    It boggles the mind how YouTube et. al have enabled the critically short-sighted to get themselves into incredible trouble, simply because they can’t foresee the outcomes of putting themselves actually in a video doing something illegal. Yesterday’s unfortunate fools and criminals at least had the sense not to film themselves breaking health codes, etc. Thanks to TV, I think today’s criminals no longer know how to draw the line between acted-out stunts on TV and breaking laws in real life…I’m assuming they are only able to conceive of fame for themselves.

    It’s really very sad, and though I’d be the last person to champion the causes of fast food chains, this is totally unfair for the company and a life-changing tragedy for the former employees.

    Out of curiosity, Greg, if you were the judge, how would you handle a situation like this?

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    I wouldn’t criminally prosecute them.

    Dominos will recover and took fast action. Most people who eat there will understand what happened. Other fast food chains (and food processors) have had PR problems in the past and recovered.

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