We have been closely following a series of blog posts that began about 6 months ago regarding advertising claims by Miami restaurants selling Wagyu beef, which culminated in a citation by Food Safety Inspectors for falsely advertising their Wagyu beef as Kobe Beef. The stories have now gone mainstream, and here’s a great summary of what’s been going on.
And now, another mainstream piece is adding fuel to the fire.
According to this Debonair Magazine article‘s arresting first paragraph, “Most American restaurants have a dirty little secret. Very little of the meat they sell as Kobe, is actually Kobe beef.” The article serves as a guide to consumers, helping them to avoid paying Kobe-prices for sub-Kobe quality. And in doing so, the article – riding on this growing tide of blogs on the subject – serves as an implicit warning to producers, distributors and restaurateurs. False advertising is not only unethical, it’s also a potentially serious liability. In today’s hyper-connected world with information flowing at light speed, businesses risk damaged reputation, regulatory fines, and revenue losses for this kind of inauthentic claim. Is it worth the risk?