Blackmore's Five Forece Analys

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CCIJ 13,4

When an icon stumbles: the Ribena issue mismanaged
Tony Jaques
RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Purpose – When two 14-year-old New Zealand schoolgirls challenged the advertising claims of Ribena blackcurrant drink – owned by global giant GlaxoSmithKline – they triggered a sequence of events which led to prosecution, public opprobrium and international damage to an iconic brand. The purpose of this paper is to explore the case and identify lessons for future management practice. Design/methodology/approach – Some of the fundamental principles of issue management, post-crisis discourse and corporate
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13 No. 4, 2008 pp. 394-406 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 1356-3289 DOI 10.1108/13563280810914829

Introduction: Ribena blackcurrant drink was launched in Britain in the 1930s and won lasting fame during the Second World War as a source of vitamin C for British children denied fresh fruit such as oranges. It subsequently became established as an iconic “healthy food” served by mothers in 22 other countries around the world[1] especially locations such as Australia and New Zealand with strong post-war British migration. Today Ribena generates sales world wide of £169 million ($US 332 million) for manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK, 2006). In 2004, two New Zealand teenagers testing the vitamin C content of various fruit drinks for a high-school chemistry project found that the pre-diluted ready-to-drink (RTD) variety of Ribena did not contain four times the vitamin C of oranges, as implied in advertising. After the students failed to secure a satisfactory response from GSK, their complaint went to a popular television consumer programme and eventually to the Auckland District Court. In March 2007, the company pleaded guilty to 15 representative charges and was fined $NZ 227,500 (£81,750 or $US 163,400) for the misleading television commercials and incorrect labeling. The second largest global pharmaceutical company was forced to take out apology advertising in both

Australia and

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