Brands that have Weathered Controversial Storms
In this day and age, you’d be hard pressed to find company who has yet to endure any sort of scandal. Living in the digital age means everything is viewed under a microscope. Despite some issues, the following companies have successfully managed to weather controversial storms.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson have endured a few scandals in their 100+ years of business. Most recently, they were involved in a lawsuit regarding the current opioid addiction crisis. An article written by Scott Higham, Sari Horowitz, and Lenny Bernstein for washingtonpost.com states, “Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals manufactured two opioids that were distributed in Cuyahoga and Summit counties. Johnson & Johnson also owned two companies that processed and imported the raw material used to manufacture oxycodone, a highly addictive opioid.” The lawsuit stems from thousands of counties where opioid addiction was extremely common. They claim pharmaceuticals were pushed onto the population resulting in roughly 200,000 deaths in the last 10 years. This allegation led to a massive trial in court where Johnson & Johnson inevitably settled for over $20 million dollars.
In 2015, Volkswagon came out to the media with the admission that they had falsified emissions information and actively deceived their customers. According to an article written by Chris Matthews and Stephen Gandel for fortune.com, “Volkswagen revealed in September that it had installed software on millions of cars in order to trick the Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions testers into thinking that the cars were more environmentally friendly than they were.” Additionally, the company lost over $20 billion in market capitalization as investors started abandoning ship. They also had to compensate customers, pay fines and suffer a massive blow to their reputation as well.
Consumers know Apple as one of the leading competitors in the electronics industry. However, most people don’t know about their slightly checkered past. According to an article written By Gabrielle Olya for finance.yahoo.com, “In 2016, Nokia sued Apple for patent infringement, claiming that Apple has relied on its patents related to software, video coding, chipsets, display, UI and antenna for years dating back to the release of the iPhone 3GS, TechCrunch reported. The companies settled for an undisclosed amount in May 2017, but Nokiamob reported that Apple ended up paying Nokia a whopping $2 billion.” Despite this mess, both companies have moved on and have continued to be extremely successful.
This well known yogurt company caught some heat roughly 10 years ago. Olya also mentions, “Dannon was ordered to pay up to $45 million in damages to consumers under the terms of a class-action lawsuit that was settled in 2010, which found that the company had been falsely advertising the alleged health benefits of its Activia and DanActive yogurts as being clinically and scientifically proven.” After adjusting their signage with more accurate descriptions, the company appears to be flourishing.
These companies are proof that making amends and an excellent PR strategy can help you weather any storm.