December 20, 2018
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Analysis of J&J’s PR blitz

I was extensively quoted in PR Week of New York in this article written by Sean Czarnecki about Johnson & Johnson’s full-court press comms campaign defending its talc products from cancer concerns.

What follows are excerpts containing the content I supplied for the article:

“J&J has decided to power its way through this controversy using its PR and marketing might to forcefully muscle messages across,” says Bob Pickard, principal of Signal Leadership Communication.

Pickard notes that Johnson & Johnson is “borrowing against its massive stockpile of reputation capital by playing the Tylenol card,” referring to J&J’s Tylenol crisis in the 1980s. After several Chicago customers died after ingesting Tylenol that was contaminated with cyanide, J&J pulled Tylenol from shelves and invented a triple seal safety packaging.

Pickard thinks Gorsky is only missing one thing: a social media presence.

But don’t look for an apology from Gorsky, says Pickard.

“Unlike a lot of recent corporate controversies in the news, it’s doesn’t look like this one is going to feature a CEO apology any time soon,” he says. “The stakes are too high, and the ‘facts’ are too contested.”



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