Efforts to negatively impact Chick-fil-A's business in the aftermath of anti-gay comments made by the company's president appear to have backfired rather tremendously in favor of the fast food chain as it managed to exceed last year's third-quarter numbers in both consumer use and market share.
According to a report by research specialist Sandelman & Associates, the extra attention heaped on Chick-fil-A following Dan Cathy's acknowledgement that his company was "guilty as charged" in its opposition to same-sex marriage helped increase consumer use by 2.2% over the same time last year, with the customer base expanding in 28 of the top 35 media markets.
Ad awareness rose a remarkable 6.5% over LY, as both opponents and proponents of the chain shared their feelings on various social networks.
"There was a lot of talk that this would hurt Chick-fil-A, but it actually helped the brand," said Sandelman president Jeff Davis.
At least one PR exec expressed astonishment at Chick-fil-A's gains in light of their supposed "PR nightmare.
"Chick-fil-A did everything wrong in the book," CGPR president Chris Goddard told USA Today. "Their president shot from the hip, and his PR team was not equipped or prepared (to respond). It was a PR disaster and a clear case of what not to do in a crisis."
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