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Can an Unwanted Spokesperson Ruin a Restaurant's Image?

Can an Unwanted Spokesperson Ruin a Restaurant's Image?

Like many young American women, Kendra Wilkinson loves the food at Olive Garden. However, unlike the majority of these women, Kendra is a Playboy Playmate, girlfriend to Hugh Hefner, and star of the reality show The Girls Next Door. On the series, she expresses her profound love for the Italian chain's artichoke dip and unlimited breadsticks. She's not a spokesperson for the brand, and her public, undying love is not returned. Rumor has it the officials at Olive Garden would like her to stop inadvertently promoting the restaurant. They've worked hard to craft their family-friendly image, and a Playboy playmate doesn't exactly fit into that picture. Although many brands welcome a celebrity's endorsement, if the celebrity doesn't match the brand's image, problems can arise.

I think it's an interesting topic, and wonder what you have to say about the matter. Can an unwanted spokesperson ruin a restaurant's reputation?


Join The Conversation
minhee minhee 9 years
i think this is so ridiculous all press is good press right? who cares who eats there
jadeangel25 jadeangel25 9 years
Agreeing with the posters above: - Take whatever good feedback you can get. - And we need to know where she got that dress. :)
TypeAVampire TypeAVampire 9 years
Well, I worked for the O.G and let me tell you something... behind the scenes it is anything BUT family friendly. They should be glad that someone that is somewhat well-known is unknowingly endorsing them. They need to STFU and be greatful. Sheesh.. /end.
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 9 years
Well what makes it worse is that in one of the episodes she expresses her love of the Olive Garden to a true Italian! Get real! The Olive Garden is like the McDonalds of Italy! I don't think they should shun her for the publicity though.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I don't think it really matters if a celeb like it's or not. Maybe if she said she hated it.
jnm9jem jnm9jem 9 years
that is so rude. she has every right to say that she loves that restaurant just like anyone else does.
brista brista 9 years
The only celebs that would me from going to a restaurnt is Racheal Ray and Paula Dean. So I will never eat at Dunkin' Donuts and I will never eat at Mrs. Deep-Fried-Butter's restaurants in the South. As far as bunnies go, well, don't care.
darlene darlene 9 years
I'm with gab, a celeb isn't going to influence me to eat somewhere.
shepptacular shepptacular 9 years
I think that the people who know that she likes Olive Garden are obviously watching her show because I don't and that publicity is hardly going to reduce the amount of families that dine at Olive Garden. Lot's of rappers mention brands in their lyrics which are not appreciated either but if it results in a new target audience how can it hurt?
kathleenjoy kathleenjoy 9 years
I don't really think a "chain restaurant" needs to worry about their image - chains have to have a uniform approach to their menu so they aren't exactly fine dining. Who cares if she likes it or not, I think The Olive Garden are being snobby!
Isista Isista 9 years
I think it seems pretty sad when you think that some of your clients will stop eating your food depending on which celeb endorses it. As long as your food tastes good, then you shouldn't worry if a few people leave because a playmate is giving out free endorsements.
MsMO MsMO 9 years
I seriously doubt families are watching The Girls Next Door or reading Playboy together so does it matter? Anybody who wont go to Olive Garden because she likes it needs to figure out why they even know her name and who she is. It's ridiculous.
itsme3683 itsme3683 9 years
I kindof see their point, but I think it works as long as she's never official. Nobody I know associates Kendra Wilkinson with Olive Garden, so I don't think they have anything to worry about by getting a few more young butts in the chairs. Do I think she'd be great in an Olive Garden commercial, probably not. What I really want to know is how that girl eats unlimited breadsticks and still looks like that!
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i love olive garden and having kendra talk about it all the time doesn't make me like it any more or less. i think that it's just someone who likes to talk about a place that they go. i think that if people are going to change their opinion based on kendra liking to talk about OG - then that's someone who's a bit more fickle.
jkat jkat 9 years
Same thing happened with Cristal. Rap musicians ruined - or at least altered - its brand image. Whether it was for better or worse depends on who you ask I guess...
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
In my town, Olive Garden is where all the old folks go.
twinkles twinkles 9 years
Although Kendra is a girlfriend, and has appeared in the magazine as such, she is not technically a Playmate. That title is reserved for the 12 monthly centerfolds...
puddlesworth puddlesworth 9 years
I've never eaten at the olive garden, I wanted to but my sister said that their food isn't any better than something you could make at home for a fraction of the price. anyway thats cool that the restaurant is standing up for their morals instead of taking all the publicity they can get.
L0neLyHeArT L0neLyHeArT 9 years
I really don't care if Kendra models for Olive Garden or whatever. This is not an issue with me, and I don't feel offended that it might ruin the "family" image that Olive Garden tried to portray.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
Also, there is no such thing as bad publicity. It may seem negative, but the more their name is out there, the more people hear it and might go to eat there. They are stupid to say anything.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
OG needs all the help they can get, whoseit promoting it shows me what magnificent taste she has (I'm throwing up right now).
javsmav javsmav 9 years
"Still, this colors my judgment of the girl's taste in food more than it colors my judgment of Olive Garden." ahaha. so true. also, how do people know about her love of Olive Garden unless they watch the show? I'm guessing the family-minded OG patron is not the target audience for the Girl Next Door?
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 9 years
Kendra is by far the most annoying of the three girls next door anyway. That is one horrifying laugh. The same unwanted attention crosses over into other products too. Burberry had issues in the 90s and early 2000s with English football hooliganism adopting their distinctive checked pattern. And every time some idiot shoots up a school, Jack Thompson, Esq. in Florida fires off another amicus brief detailing that the kid liked to play violent videogames like Grand Theft Auto (even if the kid didn't). It hasn't killed their brands yet. But that doesn't mean it doesn't annoy the heck out of their marketing departments, who have paid good money to establish a brand's identity.
mom2ross mom2ross 9 years
So Olive Garden is worried that people may not go there because a certain type of celebrity endorses them? Wouldn't those people be ones that choose not to think for themselves, allowing others to tell them where they should or shouldn't go? Those sort of lemming type consumers are keeping Olive Garden in business. Be careful who you alienate.
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