Johnson & Johnson Inputs by Mr. N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA
For a mature brand like J&J, it is almost odd in their reaction to the baby powder case. After almost $4.9billion paid in compensation after a US court verdict against them earlier this year, the reuters news of their personnel having knowledge of asbestos in the baby powder, was refuted totally.
Naturally, there will be investigations that follow, buy the damage to the brand has already been done. This news puts doubts on the Values and Morals of J&J, and when a reputed news agency’s accusation questions a reputed company have moral stance, I think people give more credence to the reputed news agency.
This is not about J&J baby powder, but about all of J&J. Recently they also had to do a knee-replacement recall due to a defective product – and that’s not like recalling a car to change its carburettor, it’s a knee already implanted in someone’s body.
They have not lost 10% of their market cap due to the recent Reuters story alone. They have lost the trust of millions of people who placed it on the brand.
In crisis, just like a forest fire, the first concern is to ensure that it does not worsen. Here though, if documents did exist, then J&J should have done a thorough scrutiny to see in case anyone internally did know about as an self-scrutinising audit as soon as this issue came up.
Also, if Reuters got access to such internal memos that claim knowledge, then at least J&J should have had an ear to the ground to know this.