A survey earlier this year revealed that 42% of executives believed cost cutting was driving a rise in product recalls – with the drive to save costs resulting from retailers and consumers pressurising manufacturers to drop prices.
The harm to brand reputation as a result of a product recall, contamination orhealth & safety concerns is inevitable. With the increasing reach of social media, bad news travels fast, so managing the risk of damage to reputation is essential.
Freeths’ experts in reputation management suggest some practical steps to managing the risks – including having a crisis team in place in case the worse should happen, with membership from the board, IT, external legal counsel and PR consultants. Ongoing staff training in all areas from where a threat may arise (such as quality control) is essential, as is proactive public relations to recover consumer trust. As it is likely that negative material will remain online after the crisis is resolved, consider using the protection of relevant laws such as libel, malicious falsehood and intellectual property to remove inappropriate content.
Cost-cutting by food and drink manufacturers has sparked a rise in product recalls over the past six years, as the number of foods recalled for being contaminated with foreign bodies has more than tripled