Thursday, June 3, 2010

Corporations Behaving Badly, Vol. 5,789

Apparently McNeil, a division of Johnson & Johnson, tried to avoid negative publicity last year by implementing a “phantom recall” of its Motrin product:
The FDA said it became aware of the alleged Motrin scheme after it obtained a memo that detailed instructions to contract workers to buy up Motrin from stores. The memo was first sent anonymously to Oregon state regulators.

"You should simply 'act' like a regular customer while making these purchases. There must be no mention of this being a recall of the product!" reads the memo dated June 12, 2009.

I’m trying to wrap my head around how much doing something like that must have cost. Instead of contacting retailers and having the product removed from store shelves--which I guess would have been far too public--they hired people to go into every drugstore in America and buy up all the Motrin. Didn’t they think drug stores would wonder why there’s a mad rush for Motrin all of a sudden? A nationwide outbreak of PMS, perhaps?

Boggles the mind. Look, corporate America: just do the right thing the first time, Okay? Enough with the sleazy astroturf underhanded marketing PR bullshit. You’re not doing yourselves any favors. This shit always catches up with you eventually and you end up looking like even bigger assholes.