The ABC News was today reporting on an incident involving a local Pizza Hut franchise selling live animals with orders of ten pizzas or more. The promotion was promptly photographed and posted to social media, where something of a feeding-frenzy was kicked off.
The online community was uniform in its dismissal of the crazy promotion. Thousands of concerned consumers took to Facebook to voice their anger over the patent disregard for animal welfare. Posts from web-citizens labelled the special offer as “disgraceful” and even “disgusting”. But it was what happened next that caught Facebook users by surprise.
Instead of heeding the words of rightfully worried citizens, Pizza Hut instead opted to delete sensitive posts from their Facebook page. But, as everybody could’ve guessed, this move only served to make matters worse.
By the end of the day, animal welfare group Oscar’s Law had rallied thousands of people to storm the Facebook page of the multi-national corporation. Earlier in the day, they wrote: “We were alerted to this sign in Pizza Hut Mt Waverley Victoria store this morning. We headed down to the pet shop and after discussions with us they agreed to stop the promotion and agreed it was a bad idea! Not wrong there Pets Story! … Head over to Pizza Hut Facebook page and politely ask them to remove the signs completely!”
After the wave of controversy threatened to engulf them, Pizza Hut’s corporate powers-that-be yielded to overwhelming public sentiment and issued a public apology: “It has come to our attention that one of our stores have recently been running a promotion which was not approved by Pizza Hut Australia, nor was condoned in any circumstances. We would like to sincerely apologise to anyone who was offended by this. The poster has since been taken down and all those involved have been made aware of the severity and inappropriateness of the promotion. We would like to thank Oscar’s Law and all those who have brought this to our attention this evening.”
All in all, it was a pretty good day for online activism, with the issue being resolved less than twenty four hours after first reaching social media platforms. Oscar’s Law and the thousands of online followers who helped stop the promotion should be congratulated for their efforts, efforts which ultimately stopped Pizza Hut from selling a single defenceless creature along with its cheesy meals.
EquipRent, an earthmoving and construction equipment hire company based in Perth.