Steamboat Springs Chick-Fil-A should give the cow thieves free chicken sandwiches, not felony charges. For those who didn't notice, on July 11 fast-food company Chick-Fil-A reported a big fiberglass cow was stolen from a billboard in the Denver area. Because it seemed like such an odd happening, media outlets across the country picked up the story.
Capitalizing on the attention, the Atlanta-based company made things more quirky by promising free chicken sandwiches for a year to anyone who could lead authorities to the cow.
On Monday, the 150-pound cow showed up in front of the Depot, presumably meaning it's one of our neighbor's fault this story is out there.
The cow recovery prompted similar media attention across the country.
The case to find the rustlers is under investigation. A spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office called this week to tell me they are fingerprinting the Holstein in hopes of finding the culprits.
As it turns out, the temporary theft of the big fake advertising cow is a felony because the promotional tool is worth more than $1,000 it cost $3,200 to pay someone to build. The devil is always in the details with these things.
Once Chick-Fil-A realized its missing cow was worthy of media attention, its apparent $3,200 loss turned into an advertising expense, and a cheap one at that.
To get Chick-Fil-A splattered all over media outlets in the United States two times, including CNN, could have cost the company 100 times that price. Plus, the real achievement is getting the company's name out of the advertising sector and into the news section, something marketing directors try to achieve all the time because it has a bigger impact on the public.
One colleague of mine suggested someone from Chick-Fil-A could have took the cow, with the hopes of getting the attention. Sorry, company officials must realize they couldn't have panned a better promotional campaign than this.
That leads me to the free chicken sandwiches. Instead of Chick-Fil-A possibly pressing charges if the person is found, I think a show of gratitude by the company is in order.
The cow rustlers should get the year of chicken sandwiches for their work, not a felony theft charge.