Procter & Gamble Rely Tampons Case Study

2383 Words Jul 10th, 2005 10 Pages

The purpose of this research paper is that to present the difficulties Procter & Gamble faced in the early 1980¡¦s due to a correlation between the company¡¦s Rely tampon and the disease Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Also, how the company handled the findings before and after new laws were passed by Congress giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate medical devices, which included tampons. Thereafter, I will analyze the ethical issues relevant to this case within a SWOT analysis.


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is about how companies manage their business processes to produce a positive impact on society. Companies introduce new products in markets, usually after testing concludes
…show more content…
The Rely tampon was made of a mixture of carboxymethylcellulose (a wood pulp derivative) and polyurethane (a plastic). Polyurethane¡¦s uses are varied but it may be used to make sofa stuffing and insulation. However, in tests it shows that it is a cancer-causing agent or carcinogen and a tumor producer.

First TSS Reports

A small bi-weekly newspaper from New York, The Rochester Patriot Newspaper, appears to be the first to establish the issues with the Rely tampon in 1975 and 1976. The articles explain that Rochester and Fort Wayne, Indiana were the two cities chosen by Procter & Gamble as test markets for the new kind of tampon and the materials used to make this extended wear tampon.

After the second article that The Rochester Patriot published in 1976, P&G said it would remove the polyurethane from the tampon not because it was unsafe, rather due to construction problems. It seemed that the tampon would break apart during use, cause vaginal itching, burning and pain when removing the tampon. A source with inside company information said that P&G was changing the tampon due to the negative publicity the tampon was receiving in Rochester. However, seven months later, studies still found this agent in the tampons (Rochester Patriot, 1975-76).

The End of the Rely Tampon

Procter &
Open Document