In July 2013, the Center for Science in the Public Interest issued a surprise announcement naming one of LJS’s meals the “worst restaurant meal in America.” Negative publicity was immediate and widespread, necessitating a comprehensive and strategic crisis communications strategy to mitigate damage to the brand.
RunSwitch stepped in to function as Long John Silver’s corporate communications department, receiving all incoming media requests and working around the clock to issue statements on behalf of LJS and track down and correct outlets that published erroneous information.
RunSwitch succeeded in opening a line of communication directly with CSPI on behalf of LJS to begin the repair process. In early August of 2013, RunSwitch and LJS met directly with the CSPI Director and staff to address inaccuracies in their work and to find a productive path forward that avoided litigation. In January 2014, CSPI praised LJS on its website and contributed a quote to a press release announcing that LJS’ entire menu was now free of trans fats. RunSwitch continues to work with CSPI to maintain a positive relationship.