The ongoing social media marketing nightmare surrounding US fast food firm Chick-fil-A took a tragic turn over the weekend when the firm's head of PR died of a massive heart attack.
Don Perry, who joined the company in 1983, was responsible for developing and overseeing external communications and publicity programmes in support of key company initiatives, including latterly its social media outreach.
Over the past week Perry had found Chick-fil-A trying to contain a mounting firestorm of controversy after company CEO Don Cathy stated that the firm was deeply opposed to same sex marriage.
After issuing a statement on Facebook trying to calm the situation, the firm was late last week accused of setting up a fake Facebook profile of a teenage girl to support its stance, a charge denied by the company.
"Don was a member of our Chick-fil-A family for nearly 29 years," said a company statement. "For many of you in the media, he was the spokesperson for Chick-fil-A. He was a well-respected and well-liked media executive in the Atlanta and University of Georgia communities, and we will all miss him."
Meawhile the marketing row shows no signs of abating, with supporters of Chick-fil-A gearing up for Wednesday's 'eat some chicken to show your support' day organised by failed Republican Presidential candidate and Fox News commentator Mick Huckabee.
Parody Twitter accounts for 'Abby Farle' - the fake Facebook ID that popped up to defend Chick-fil-A - have sprung up - with @AbbyFarle among the most prominent, offering lots of fried chicken-related advice for God-fearing Republican American teenagers everywhere.
And the political opportunism continues apace with Sarah Palin just happening to drop by a Chick-fil-A with Alaska's 'First Dude' - and a camera so that she could pose with her bag of fast food for the Twitter-verse.
Just when it seemed there were no more twists and turns to take, CNN added a sub-plot to the proceedings by introducing an item on Palin's visit to the restaurant by playing it in with Pink's song "Stupid Girls", an action which CNN says was an accident, but which Chick-fil-A's more 'ardent' supporters have interpreted as yet another liberal conspiracy.
Video source: Media Research Center - refresh page if video does not appear