I was forwarded the email from a friend with the subject line: HIGH5 BREAD – For those who love bread. Inside there was a message which is cut and pasted below:
> >High-5 bread's factory is really terrible. Pls don't buy in future.> >> >In summary, the High-5 bread sold here is manufactured in Malaysia. > >The local news reported that the factory was recently raided by some > >Health Dept officers from the Government sector of Malaysia. They > >found the entire premises to be dirty, stench odor and unhealthy > >environment; even the bread-making process to be unacceptable by the > >Health Dept - no gloves, dirty utensils, etc. See pictures attached!> >> >Please pass this message to your friends!> >Thank You.
Well obviously the next thing I did was open the attachments and what I saw was shocking, check out some of the pictures below.
After that I forwarded the email around to my friends as one does in today’s viral community. Everyone loves a viral right, good or bad? Well all those connected to High5 won't now.
Just as the internet can be a good thing when consumers develop funny and often trend setting and globally viewed viral videos for brands, this is an example of how the internet culture of ‘pass it on’ can also deliver negative PR for a brand. It doesn’t matter if the pictures are real or not, and that’s the scary part.
The question is did the viral come from a rival bread maker or, and this is increasingly the case with this type of thing, from a disgruntled worker.
The fact is the damaged has been done and will continue to be done with every click of the mouse on the forward button. Even if the public don’t read about it in trusted news publications, the negative message can be embedded in their memory banks of the consumer to be uploaded every time they need to buy bread.
On the shelf they will see Gardenia then Sunshine and then High5…hmm..*uploading memory with those nasty pictures* “err…I think I’ll maybe pass on the bread for today”.
Don’t believe me?
Think about it, over a slice of bread.