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‘Whats up Doc?’ Facebook group cooks up panic-buy

Alex Christie

15 May 2008

I’ve never felt the urge to go out and panic-buy carrots before. Ever. Fact. So when you hear that today nearly 240,000 people are doing this, you have to wonder what on earth is going on. And if the supermarkets run out, what Bugs is going to have for his supper…
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Of course, the root (sorry) of such lunacy is Facebook. The social networking giant is the easiest way for Average Joe to cause a social movement utilising only a Facebook group, combined with a bloke who’d been to the pub, probably for most of the day.

On May 15th 2008, everybody needs to go out and panic buy CARROTS’ was created this year, on January 10th – and in a phenomenally short time has gained nearly a quarter of a million members (including this writer), and had 10 thousand wall posts.

Given this, I started to wonder if this was really going to happen – and more importantly, wondered if supermarkets had considered the potential impact. I’m no retail manager, but I think this many people on a carrot-binge could see the shelves empty fairly quickly – As illustrated by a quick-snapping Tamar employee this morning in Brixton.

After contacting the press offices of three of the nations top supermarkets, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, it seems the nations providers don’t widely share my concerns. Two of them were aware of it but weren’t in a blind panic, and the other was quite surprised and baffled at my news. I was equally as baffled that they didn’t know. I shan’t go into detail about who knew and who didn’t, in case there is any embarrassment to be had.

Therefore, if you go to have some healthy seasonal vegetables with your dinner this evening and find carrots are off the menu, blame the creator of this group, the power of Facebook and social networking, and slightly strange people, like myself, who’ll be enjoying carrot soup followed by carrot cake this evening.

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