I read a PR crisis news today, it was about a woman claims she found ‘squid-like’ object in Vita Coco product. According to the victim, Kline, “I still can’t believe this I’m so disgusted it’s the only water I ever drink I will never in my life drink it again … It looks like a freaking octopus just looking at it makes me sick”. After she drank that coconut water, she thought that was a flavored; however, when she opened and saw that was a squid or octopus-looking thing. Based on what she told to reporter, Kline, who works in the medical field, became ill after consuming what she’s convinced was an animal or some kind of mold(http://nypost.com/2017/05/10/mom-finds-gross-squid-like-horror-in-her-coconut-water/).Vita Coco said it has been in contact with Kline and has asked her repeatedly to let the company test the sample.
When I saw this case, it let me remind the case happened in 1993, “Pepsi’s Crisis: The Syringe Scare”. On June 10, 1993, a Seattle television station reported that a local couple had discovered a syringe in a can of Diet Pepsi. Pepsi made a crisis group based on Law Department, Production Department and other department explain to public, FDA also intervened in the investigation.
In this case, Pepsi used 5S rules for that crisis:
1. shoulder the matter. Pepsi didn’t pass the buck, instead, they want to clarify and make sure the fact.
2. sincerity. Pepsi talked to media and public is based on truth, the way they told to public was authentic.
3. speed. Their crisis authentic was fast. They had fast action to let FDA to investigated the problem.
4. system. They had a good system to distribute which department should in charge what section about this crisis.
5. standard. Pepsi let FDA to involve the investigation. Via FDA, it made public and media more convinced.
The reason why I mentioned again about Pepsi case in 1993 is, it is a good lesson can learn from them: how to deal and handle if this situation happened again. For a company who get the crisis situation, their sales might declined, but I believe that will be temporarily, just like Pepsi, although they got lost about 2 millions due to this crisis, they recovered in the summer season. The most important thing is, they saved their reputation.