PR Disaster should not be turned into bigger disastersPosted: November 17, 2009
And if you did turn it into a bigger disaster try not to make an even bigger disaster
There has been a ton of issues flying around the world over BPA and finding it in container you use to drink from. It started with plastic water bottles which sent plastic bottles to the land fill and sent metal ones soaring in sales. Everyone picked up metal, stainless steel water bottles. You immediately found them in bicycle water bottle catches, on playgrounds and school teacher desks. Then it was discovered that stainless steel water bottles were lined with BPA.
In the mean time the public and Wall Street saw the metal water bottles sales soaring. People were afraid of BPA and plastic and the stainless manufactures benefitted from the fear of plastic. Then the stainless steel water bottle manufactures admitted that their bottles were lined with BPA also. That was a good and honest move.
Now the stainless water bottle manufactures are trying to redeem themselves and they are blowing it. When the plastic water bottle manufactures got caught, they argued that the BPA did not leech into the water. They lost this fight, they converted and they started selling again.
The stainless steel bottle makers tried to make this argument/defense again, there was no BPA in your water. Stupid move number 1. Don’t learn from the guy who screwed up big time and try the same move.
Stupid Move number 2 is continue to try and dodge the issue. In a post, SIGG and the Problems of Transparency several different arguments are being made to justify the cover up. Such stellar examples include:
- We are not as bad as the other guys
- We are not the first people to lie to you; you should be used to it.
- It did not cost you millions to bail us out
- There are bigger fish to fry
Give me a break!
Look the issue is not who is bad, the issue is I spent money on the bottle sitting in front of me. You knew I was buying it because of my fear of BPA in my water bottles yet you kept quiet. You were silent knowing I was buying your bottle to avoid BPA, and your bottle was lined with BPA.
This is not a government issue, this is a personal issue. This problem did not occur on Wall Street the problem is sitting on my desk in front of me. I’m starring at the problem and I feel ripped off.
At least the plastic guys did not lie to me once the information was out and they never said we are not as bad as the other guy.
If you have a PR problem and you don’t want to turn it into a legal problem you better come clean the first time and stay clean the rest of the time. (See Class Claims Toxin Was in Aluminum Bottles and Caddell & Chapman files class action complaint against SIGG.) Consumers feel duped, crap even I feel duped
Covering up works the same way as hiding under the covers, eventually people will see you under the covers. When you get caught telling the world it’s not you or that your brother or that your brother did something worse than you, your parents did not buy it. Telling consumers there are bigger fish to fry does not matter to a consumer. Let the fish fryers deal with those issues. I want to feel better about being ripped off.
For other articles about this issue see:
For other comments about PR disasters see How not to respond to a product liability claim or How to turn a mess into a legal disaster.