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Meet the People: Why Businesses Must Engage with Public Opinion to Manage and Enhance Their Reputations by James Frayne

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CHAPTER ONE: THE RISE OF PEOPLE POWER

How the web changed communications

IN JANUARY 2013 Matt Corby, an Australian customer of sandwich chain SUBWAY, bought a classic “footlong” sandwich. Suspicious, he decided to measure it. After discovering the sandwich was only eleven inches in length Corby posted the photographic evidence on Facebook. SUBWAY was catapulted into a major brand crisis.

Initially, SUBWAY stood its ground, reasonably arguing “footlong” was a brand name rather than a description of length. It did not work and the issue continued to gather attention and momentum. The New York Post sent people out to buy seven footlong sandwiches and four came in undersized. [2] Inevitably, perhaps, two disgruntled customers threatened ...

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