Every once in a while I’m guilty of writing about what I would usually consider a non-story. This is one of those times. Pop star Beyonce
fed her crew after a concert. I'm betting this happens after every concert.
What makes this time different? Workers from wildly popular Nando's
in Essex posted the receipt of her purchase online (with the name Beyonce K on top), and the mundane event has gone viral. The receipt shows that she purchased 580 wings, 48 whole chickens, some veggie burgers, and sides from the chain that made peri-peri chicken a household phrase in Britain. Everyone has something to say about this.
- The Cut says this is Beyonce’s best PR Trick Yet. Because her food choices are just like ones that the rest of us would make — but because she spends so much more money than we do, this story pushes “all our celeb news buttons.”
- The U.K.’s Daily Mail seems to think it’s news for the same reason. Its headline reads Even Beyonce Goes to Nando’s!
- E! treats it more as a straight news story, reporting mainly just the facts.
- The impressive thing that Yahoo! finds from this story is that Beyonce used her real name, but also reports it was a member of her staff, and not the singer herself, who placed the order.
- Even Business Insider treated Beyonce’s Nando’s purchase as a news story, posting pictures from Twitter of the receipt and two Nando’s employees cooking the chicken.
So, is this news? Free PR for Beyonce? Free PR for Nando’s? People spending far too much time on the Internet?
Interestingly, most of what’s being written about the purchase is positive. That’s quite different from the flack Beyonce took
after signing a deal with Pepsi while she was part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move
campaign, which fights childhood obesity. The campaign frequently points to sugary beverages as contributing to obesity. No one seems to be equating her large fast-food purchase with influencing how kids eat.
Really, this is news simply because we make it news. It’s not important. But, it’s a hot story right now because people click on the headlines and read the story. I did. I really can't explain why. And, before anyone comments below that it’s not news, answer this question, “Why did you click on the headline and read this article?”
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