The Hong Kong social forums such Golden and Facebook have been a buzz after a local toy store KK PLUS released a statement over an incident where a toddler accidentally crashed into one of its large Teletubby statues at Langham Place.
In the statement, KK PLUS explained the incident of the toddler bumping into its Teletubby statues and clarified that an agreement had been reached between the parents and the store on the compensation. It also clarified the price of the statue sharing that it is over HK$50,000. The statement, however, garnered the store a fair amount of negative sentiment from the consumers, with many taking the side of the parents in the accident.
The store at Langham Place opens as usual today, when interviewed by local press, Mr Lui, manager of the store admitted the lack of protection of the exhibits and he has stored exhibitions with height over 1m to avoid similar incidents. He added that KK PLUS cares about toddlers and has reached the parents for further assistance.
The accident took place Sunday, when a toddler accidently bumped into a large Teletubby statue from KK PLUS at Langham Place, afterwhich the store asked the parents to pay over HK$30,000 for the damage of the company. While the conversation at the point was a private matter between the store and the parents, several witnesses of the incident shared their views on social media, which snowballed into a heated discussion overnight.
Noting the chatter, the company posted an Instagram story last night featuring a Teletubby weeping and said “It’s fine”. However, the conversations on social carried with rumours circulating that this incident wasn't the first faced by the store. KK PLUS then put up an official statement at 1am this morning, confirming that nothing similar has happened since last November and that the parents willingly raised the issue of compensation, which was then agreed on both sides. It also debunked the rumours of the Teletubby costing only HK$1180.
The company also said it will contact the family over the issue and it has learnt a lesson from the issue on handling such situations. However, data from media analysis firm Carma showed that the public statement released at about 1am on 24 May led to an increase in mentions where most netizens were critical of the way the statement was written as it wasn’t quite an apology.
Many were critical of KK PLUS’ poor PR management as they posted an Instagram story late last night, which Charles Cheung, GM of Carma Hong Kong, said “unsurprisingly drove up the negative sentiment” over the last 24 hours. The statement saw many condemning the store for putting its products before the safety of consumers, as well as suggesting boycotting KK Plus.
Cheung believed that the reason why the Instagram story was spread so quickly was because a number of influencers or Instagram meme channels shared this story, and he said KK PLUS could have been more cautious in dealing with the PR management of this incident.
He added that in situations such as these, the matter is best kept behind closed doors. Unfortunately, in this instance the Instagram story posted led to the opening of Pandora’s box of comments and turned the issue into a public matter. A quick check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE showed that the image is no longer available.
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