If it sounded too good to be true when it was announced that 7-Eleven would begin selling cannabidiol (CBD) oil, well…turns out it actually was too good to be true. After a press release by the CBD company Phoenix Tears announcing the partnership with 7-Eleven received wide coverage, the national convenience store chain had to step in to set the record straight.
Speaking with HuffPost, Stephanie Shaw, director of communications for 7-Eleven, disappointed the nation when she said, “We have made no agreement or partnership with this company and do not know why they said that.”
It’s a little unclear how intentional the mistake was on the part of Phoenix Tears. After all, the press release itself, which announced that 7-Eleven would carry the hemp-derived oils in more than 4,000 of its locations, seemed like an official, sober document. As a result, the news spread quickly once the release went out, and it wasn’t until 7-Eleven got in touch with HuffPost that the matter was cleared up—mostly. There’s still the question of what the hell Phoenix Tears was thinking.
For their own part, Phoenix Tears isn’t completely backing down from the original statement. In a comment to HuffPost, Suzanne Mattaboni, a spokeswoman for Phoenix Tears, said the press release may have misstated some details of the deal and that she was trying “to get to the bottom of this.”
But perhaps Phoenix Tears did exactly what they meant to do. Case in point: we’re talking about them, as are scores of other publications. Although this is mostly speculative at this point, it seems likely that Phoenix Tears subscribes to the old adage that all press is good press. In an increasingly crowded market, Phoenix Tears faces competition from innovative brands like Charlotte’s Web and Swissx, trolling 7-Eleven for publicity may not be the worst strategy.
At the same time, the company risks alienating and losing the trust of its costumers—especially at a time when the industry is largely self-policed and people rely on a brand’s reputation to gauge the quality of their product. “Phoenix Tears is a trusted brand that has served consumers’ wellness goals for nearly a decade,” Blake Patterson, president at MarketHub Retail Services, says in the press release.
That may not be the case anymore.