The Case Of Johnson & Johnson

1692 Words7 Pages
Although emergencies are unexpected by nature, the true character of a company is revealed by how they react and handle a crisis. In 1982, seven individuals died in Chicago from taking Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules, which were laced with cyanide. Tylenol became one of Johnson & Johnson’s most successful products, accounting for 17 percent of the company’s profits. Extra-Strength Tylenol constituted 70 percent of all Tylenol sales (Lazare). Johnson & Johnson also enjoyed an incredible amount of trust and goodwill from the public, nurtured in part by its allegiance to the company credo of responsibility to employees, consumers, stockholders, and the community. Johnson & Johnson took full accountability for the crisis even though they were…show more content…
Instead, the company advertised in the national media for individuals not to consume any products that contained acetaminophen. When it was determined that only capsules were tampered with, they offered to exchange all Tylenol capsules already purchased by the public with solid tablets (Lazare). Johnson & Johnson offered a $100,000 reward for the capture and conviction of the “Tylenol Killer” whom was never found (Yang). The media commended Johnson & Johnson for it’s handling of the crisis; for example, an article in The Washington Post said, "Johnson & Johnson has effectively demonstrated how a major business ought to handle a disaster." The article further stated that "this is no Three Mile Island accident in which the company 's response did more damage than the original incident," and praised the company for being honest with the public (Kaplan). Johnson & Johnson could have easily blamed the stores for not protecting their product and for allowing someone to tamper with the capsules. This could possibly have led to a lawsuit because the Johnson & Johnson brand was briefly tarnished from public outcry and scrutiny, which ultimately hurt their business and reputation; something that money cannot restore. Like most large companies, Johnson & Johnson could have dismissed the situation by preparing a simple written statement or apology in response to the seven deaths, which would deflect their liability in the situation. In my
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