Recovering From a Blow to Your Brand's Reputation

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Wendy's Finger Fiasco

When news reports surfaced in 2005 that a Wendy's customer found a finger in her chili, people were stunned—and a bit disgusted, no doubt. Company officials scrambled, offering a $100,000 reward for the "owner" of the finger and suffered an estimated $15 million loss in sales, not to mention being the butt of countless late-night jokes. When it came out that the woman planted the finger in the chili in order to extort a settlement from the company, Wendy's CEO was adamant that he believed it was a hoax to begin with, telling USA Today: "My first response was 'I cannot believe it.' And I said, 'This is a hoax. And we have to get to the bottom of it.'"