VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Whether it wanted to or not, Domino’s Pizza Canada has gotten involved in the pipeline debate- and it managed to anger both pipeline supporters and opponents.
It seems to have started last month, when a B.C. Facebook user shared a picture of several boxes of Domino’s pizza with a caption that thanked the company for bringing the pizza and for supporting Camp Cloud, an anti-pipeline camp near Burnaby.
The post prompted pipeline supporters to threaten a boycott of Domino’s, but now a Facebook post believed to have been made and then deleted by the company has pipeline opponents vowing the same thing.
We haven’t been able to verify the authenticity of the post, but various screenshots are circulating on social media. It says in part “to the best of our knowledge, none of our stores have provided support to any groups who are opposed to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project.”
It also adds “Although we fully support everyone’s right to their opinion and free speech, we do not endorse this protest movement as we recognize the importance of the Canadian oil patch industry and the economic impact the the industry has on all Canadian citizens.”
We’ve reached out to Domino’s to confirm if the post was made, but have not yet heard back.
Lindsay Meredith, Professor of Marketing at Simon Fraser University says this is a classic example of a corporation getting tangled up in social media.
“Now Domino’s is caught in the cross fire where one group thinks they are pro-pipeline the other group thinks they are pro-protester,” he says. “Whether Domino’s walked into this one supporting the protesters or not, really becomes immaterial to a larger question and that is corporations today are becoming much more socially participatory active, they’re actually taking stances out there.”
Meredith says social media plays a large role in this, with customers also increasingly wanting companies to weigh in on issues, citing M.E.C’s recent decision to drop an outdoor brand owned by a U.S. gun manufacturer amid public pressure as an example.
“On the one hand, that may be appealing to your customers, it may even be the socially responsible thing to do,” Meredith adds “And sometimes it’s gonna alienate another market segment who will turn around and boycott your product.”