Crisis Management: Dealing with a Product Crisis

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG182 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 200;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 200 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Marketing Management/ Crisis Management/ Public Relations
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 2006-2007
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Nokia Corporation; Bausch & Lomb; Mattel Inc.
Industry : Telecom; Eye Care; Toys
Countries : Europe, USA, Asia


This is a collection of three caselets discussing the product crises faced by Nokia, Baush & Lomb (B&L) and Mattel, and how these companies responded in the respective crisis situation. In 2007, some concerns regarding the safety of Nokia's BL-5C batteries arose.

Though the company was quick to issue a product advisory, the situation flared up in India due to what some critics said was a 'communication gap' on Nokia's part. In the case of B&L the company did not seem to have recovered from a product crisis related to its brand ReNu with MoistureLoc. The brand was linked to a fungal infection of the eye and was later withdrawn from the market.

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While some analysts felt that B&L's handling of the crisis situation left a lot to be desired others felt that the situation faced by B&L was trickier than what pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson, faced during the infamous Tylenol crisis in 1982. In the case of Mattel, the company had to win back the trust of its customers after the massive recall of toys in 2007 due to safety-related issues. Here too, the industry watchers are divided over whether the leading toy maker was able to handle the crisis situation in an effective manner.


Understand the issues and challenges faced by companies in managing a product crisis

Understand the importance of clear and effective communication with customers in the event of a controversy/crisis

Understand short term and long term implication for a well known brand if the crisis is not managed properly


  Page No.
Caselet 1: Nokia's Bl-5c Battery Fiasco 1
Caselet 2: Bausch & Lomb's Moistureloc Crisis 4
Caselet 3: Mattel's Voluntary Safety Recall 7


Crisis management, Product crisis, Product advisory, Corporate citizenship, Communication strategy, Public relations, Publicity , Nokia, Mattel, Bausch & Lomb, ReNu with MoistureLoc, BL-5C batteries, Lens Care market, Product liability lawsuit, Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson, Consumer education

Caselet 1: Nokia's Bl-5c Battery Fiasco - Next Page>>

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