Even the “big dogs” in the corporate world have to worry about Reputation.com. Major companies could end up losing massive amounts of value if bad publicity spreads. McDonald’s suffered a wicked amount of stock loss when a meat supplying company in China was caught processing expired meat. The stock loss McDonald’s experienced was roughly 6%.
This tale shows the woes companies of all sizes have to face when trying to maintain a solid reputation. McDonald’s was not the only company that relied on the company for meat. KFC and Pizza Hut do as well. The other thing these three companies have in common besides being in the fast food business would be the unfortunate fact they had nothing to do with how the meat processing company operates. The company is a supplier and only a supplier.
No one on any level of management in any position of management would approve or overlook the shipping of expired meat. The processing of expired meat actually victimizes the clients – which are the major corporations! Yes, the end user is at the greatest health risk. People who buy expired meat run the risk of getting very sick. The blame of their condition ends up falling on the company that sold them the meat in their orders. Legally, even though the fast food chains that ordered the meat may not have known it was expired, legal questions about whether they should have known arise. And the companies do have to perform inspections on meat as it arrives for distribution in restaurants.
No one got sick from the meat, but the viral video that emerged of the expired meat being processed put McDonald’s and others into a bad light in the news. A sharp lesson has to be learned here. Businesses must protect their brand name and reputation against things that may occur outside of their control.
All businesses – small and multi-national – must put significant effort into making sure their reputation remains pristine. Monitoring the news and the web for anything negative has to be done on a consistent basis. The minute something negative is published, quick steps should be taken to properly address the scenario.