KK Plus’s operator and parent company Kidsland International has stepped in to issue a full refund and apology amid heated debate on social platforms regarding a toddler knocking over a Teletubby figure worth over HK$50,000. In an interview with local press, Kidsland International apologised to the affected family and confirmed the refund fully to the parents.

Meanwhile, KK Plus which released a statement on 24 May 2022, which led to much unhappiness and stirred up a debate online, has also deleted the statement as it led to much public outcry. In the original statement released on 24 May 2022, 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.

In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE , Katie Lam, GM of L Concept Communications, said that in such a situation, clients must take a proactive approach to seek direct communication with the customer, and when a matter is being discussed on social media it is paramount to have a conversation with the direct parties before issuing an official statement.

“From our point of view, we think having a refund is a viable option,” said Lam. Lam believed that should the brand want to now receive professional PR agency help, it must evaluate if the agency can act fast and be detail-oriented, “When an agency is appointed for crisis management, the crisis usually already exists. Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate the crisis situation in 360 degrees before formulating a response and follow-up action,” she added.

Meanwhile, Desmond Ku, managing director of The Bridge Agency, said high level of transparency and sincerity is needed to handle PR crisis. While the refund might be one method to solving the online rage, but in most situations sincerity is far more important.  Ku also shared that amidst a crisis, PR agencies must remain humane and less bureaucratic in the tone of writing, as compared to the day to day press releases sent to journalists which carry a more formal and official tone.  

Ku added that should a PR agency step in to handle the issue, it needs to advice the brand to be more cautious when issuing a statement in public while facing a PR crisis, “afterall they need to understand what attitude and wording their target audience would accept.” 

Commenting further on the public statement that was initially released, social listening platform Carma Hong Kong's GM Charles Cheung said the sentiments seemed to remain negative even after Kidsland International apologised to the family, "some netizens questioned the sincerity of the apology and the refund, and that they (netizens) believed the operator was forced to do this due to the pressure from various media channels." he added.

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. Figures over 1m height are being stored privately and middle-sized toys are protected in a cupboard at the Langham Place store, according to local media reports. It was also reported that some parents expressed their worries that children might accidentally crash into products when they get hyped.



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