Arby’s Recalls Oven Mitt Premiums

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Arby’s has recalled oven mitts sold as premiums in its restaurants, even as its Oven Mitt character stars in a photo contest for the restaurant chain.

The mitt premiums—modeled after Arby’s iconic Oven Mitt spokescharacter—were part of a fundraiser for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, which Arby’s has sponsored nationally for 18 years. The mitts sold for $1.99 in all of Arby’s 3,450 restaurants; each mitt sold triggered a $1 donation to Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

The recall began in mid-November, triggered by product quality concerns. Agency Strottman International “found quality concerns,” and contacted the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said Strottman VP Ron Coughlin. The commission didn’t ask for a recall, but Strottman initiated one “because it was the right thing to do,” Coughlin says. Arby’s asked consumers to bring mitts back to the restaurant for a refund.

Meanwhile, Arby’s continues a photo contest starring the Oven Mitt: Consumers submit vacation-style photos that show the Oven Mitt in an unusual locale. The recall prompted Arby’s to tweak the photo contest and not require entrants to have an actual mitt; Arby’s put a photo of the mitt on its Web site for entrants to download and use in photos. The contest began Nov. 5 and runs through yearend.

Twenty finalists are chosen by random. A panel of judges chooses a grand-prize winner (based on uniqueness of the photo locale and photo composition). Grand prize is a seven-day photo safari trip for two in Kenya. The 19 finalists get a digital camera. Irvine, CA-based Strottman handles the promotion for Arby’s, Atlanta.

The recall doesn’t affect Oven Mitt items sold on Arby’s site; that line includes a blanket, sweatshirt, hat, apron, T-shirt, tote bag, magnet and rubber lapel pin—but no actual oven mitts.

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