Resolving the J&J, Red Cross PR disaster-in-waiting

“IS J&J SO OUT OF ITS FREAKING MIND THAT IT CAN’T NEGOTIATE A RESOLUTION WITH THE RED CROSS WHICH DONATES ALL OF THE PROCEEDS OF SALES USING THE RED CROSS LOGO TO HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES?” writes Intellectual Property blogger Victoria Pynchon, making a very salient point namely, private resolution rather than public recrimination. Course, both parties must´ve tried to talk this through, though for some reason, accord clearly wasnt possible. While I like the cut of Victoria´s jib, effective comunication of the moves towards resolution needs to run in tandem with any one of her creative resolution ideas, too. Again I´ll restate: it´s not just about legalities, patents and trademarks, but about media (and public) perceptions. If it looks like…. and smells like…. then it probably is, runs the media argument. But it´s fast looking as thought J&J won´t be able to put a bandage on this one (c´mon, couldn´t resist it!), but that the PR crisis team will be flown in to em, erm… perform serious surgery?

The Patent Baristas blog also chips in with its take on this ´bad PR move´, too:

3 thoughts on “Resolving the J&J, Red Cross PR disaster-in-waiting

  1. I’ve been watching this develop and doing some research which helps show J+J in a better light than the mainstream media and some bloggers. Indeed, J+J have a corporate blog on which they have discussed the issue and been very fair to ARC in responding to comments.

    What I haven’t seen though is J+J being active in blogosphere, which is a strategy that would certainly help them at this stage.

    It does seem a disastrous strategy to have ended up with litigation rather than mediation. Part of J+J’s crisis management now must involve participating in the online discussion.


  2. We’re on the same “team” Gerry. I have to admit that in this post-Rove (THAT feels good to say) world the term “PR” itself has taken a beating. How about this for the coming century? INTEGRITY, i.e., a company’s Outside (image) matches its Inside (policies, operations, dealings with shareholders, customers, vendors and the public). THEN public perception = public reality also has the comfortable fee of = the “truth” or as close as we can ever get to the truth, which is usually found naked and shaking in its boots. As every trial lawyer knows — “if you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”
    (Mark Twain) Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Much appreciated. LOVE cross-pollenization. Best, Vickie


  3. Thx Heather and Vickie,
    Vickie. love that I´m not the only integrity idealist out here!! I regularly bang on about PR being about counselling on character, not just spinning on reputation.

    Heather, great that you´ve prompted me to look into the J&J blog response (tho note that their designated blogger was ón holiday´- suggests this is a bit of a nice to do, not a genuine comms channel to me.
    Ray Jordan from the Red Cross Public Affairs team posted thus a few days back:
    From my perspective, with responsibility for Public Affairs at Johnson & Johnson, I was delighted that we were attempting to resolve this issue through cooperation and discussion with the American Red Cross, an organization for which we have much respect (and to which, by the way, we contributed over $5 million cash and additional product and volunteer time over the past three years).
    I was saddened, of course, to learn that, unlike in decades past, the American Red Cross was not working through this issue with us. In fact, they had rejected our offer to turn to third-party mediators to find an agreeable resolution, even after we had indicated our willingness to use a mediator recommended by the American Red Cross itself.


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