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Tim Hortons gives Jeff Molson a cold sweat

Tim Hortons gives Jeff Molson a cold sweat

Advertising is a delicate art.

But sometimes, even the most established companies can stumble with timing, as evidenced by a recent Tim Hortons campaign featuring Samuel Montembault and Raphael Harvey Benard.

Picture the scene: Customers walk peacefully into their local Tim Hortons, expecting the usual coffee and donuts, and suddenly, they're greeted by hockey players offering smiles and, most importantly, paying for their order.

A charming scene at first glance, but in the current context it takes on a somewhat bitter color.

While Montembault and Harvey Benard distribute friendship and caffeine, eleven Tim Hortons franchised restaurants, with a total of 44 locations in Quebec, are in the middle of a legal battle against their parent company.

Their complaint? A decline in their profits since 2021, which they attribute to the pricing policy imposed by the parent company.

According to the accusations you mentioned Globe and Mailfranchisees claim that the prices set by Tim Hortons to purchase their products and equipment have been maintained, while sales prices have not followed the same trend, resulting in a decline in their profit margin.

It is in this tense context that an advertisement highlighting the good-natured humor of hockey players is broadcast, creating a stark contrast between the projected image of happiness and the real tensions behind the scenes.

Tim Hortons' response to these allegations only added fuel to the fire. A company spokesperson downplayed franchisees' concerns, calling them a minority voice among the majority of satisfied franchisees.

However, these tensions are nothing new for the café chain owned by Restaurant Brands International (RBI).

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In fact, this case is just the latest in a series of conflicts between Tim Hortons and its franchisees. The Canadian Franchise Alliance has also expressed dismay at declining revenues across branches, while in 2018, the Great White North Franchise Association filed a $500 million class action lawsuit against the Reserve Bank of India.

In this climate of discontent and litigation, Tim Hortons' cheerful announcement seems to have come at the worst possible time.

We're talking about a stark contrast between a company's overall brand image and the difficult reality that franchisees face.

While Montembault and Harvey Benard continue to serve coffee and cake with a smile, it's hard not to see this campaign as an example of the disconnect between projected image and commercial reality.

Jeff Molson clearly chooses his sponsors well. Air only is in English in Canada, Bell is firing all its employees, and Tim Hortons is not taking care of its franchisees.

It will be fine…