Johnson & Johnson has a first class PR mess on its hands. I said it back when J&J decided to sue the American Red Cross, but I’ll say it again – J&J needs serious PR help and if its own staff aren’t up to the task, it needs to hire someone…fast.
For J&J, shielding their CEO isn’t helping the company on the reputation front. J&J’s CEO, William Weldon, gave one media interview before going into hiding. J&J’s cover story is that he’s undergoing a pre-scheduled medical procedure (sounds like liposuction). J&J needs to get its CEO out in front of the public FAST. If he’s not dead, he needs to be doing media interviews from his hospital bed. This shouldn’t be delegated to their official scapegoat (Colleen Goggins).
The company needs to put information about the recall prominently on its website. Instead, J&J has opted to host recall information on a microsite – McNeil Product Recall. The microsite strategy is to diminish damage to the main J&J brand. Unfortunately, the company is past that point.
J&J prides itself on its use of social media – so why isn’t it using those channels to provide updates on the recall and build trust with consumers? It’s probably too late for this, but better late than never.
The company will probably need to roll out some advertisements to build trust. We’ve heard rumors that J&J is looking for famous celebrity moms for an advertising campaign called “You Can Trust Us Again.” The concept is that the celebrity mom will say she trusts her children’s health to J&J and you should too. J&J is also considering other ad concepts. J&J’s probably past the point where this will have an impact, but again, better late than never.
And, we also know the deadline – July 15th. Johnson & Johnson hasn’t taken it’s manufacturing woes seriously. It took a Congressional summons for the company to provide a blueprint to the FDA on how it was going to address this.
More background on the J&J manufacturing mess:
- Time to Fire Weldon?
- The Case of the Phantom Recall
- J&J Gets Congressional Hearing
- J&J CEO Refuses to Testify Before Congress
- J&J’s Drug Recall Checklist
- When the Creed is Greed
- J&J’s OTC Products Recalled (Again)