The Sun’s front page splash about the Pizza Express halal chicken on pizzas has led to a backlash of negative media coverage for the brand. But could it have been avoided?

The newspaper reported this week that Pizza Express had used halal chicken exclusively for several years but did not say so on menus – which meant most customers were unaware.

The Sun made the story front page news, prompting calls from animal rights campaigners for clearer labelling. Pizza Express first defended their policy, releasing a statement saying their use of halal chicken was ‘no secret’. But the restaurant chain later backtracked and said they would review their policy following reaction to the story.

It’s the suggestion that Pizza Express failed to inform customers about the meat that damages the brand more than the revelation itself. Brands can’t afford to lie to customers because in this age of shared information they will almost certainly be found out.

Is your company open and transparent with customers? Are there any areas where you could improve communication?

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