ribena

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The Ribena case study is a quintessential example of ineffective public relation and communication mismanagement. Due to their inability to implement fundamental principles, the steps used by Ribena instead led to the degradation of the brand.
Any 'improper', 'illegal' or 'unethical' () action reduces public confidence and potentially leads to irreparable damage to the brand. In such circumstances, crisis and communication management are used as instruments to rebuild the consumer's declining trust. In the case of Ribena, the company ignored early indications of customer dissatisfaction and continued to broadcast their advertisement for an extensive period of time. This was despite their similar experience with 'Ribena sugartooth' in the UK, which should have acted as an indication for better measures to be executed. Nonetheless, such cases of mismanagement are not uncommon. In 2006, Cadbury Schweppes, the world's largest confectionary company had to issue a recall of over a million products poisoned due to Salmonella. Much like Ribena, Cadbury initially neglected the contamination speculations which led to disapproval from the media-authorities and customers. (Carroll, 2009)
James E. Grunig states that to eliminate conflicts and customer complaints, brands should use advertising and all the tricks of the trade to change consumer opinion. () Ribena clearly did not establish this and continued telecast of the misleading ads which eventually impacted it's consumer's trust.
One of the major mistakes made by Ribena was the shortfall in communicating information symmetrically with the public. Symmetrical communications help build effective customer relations and avoid harming the parent company. () Top operatives play a power-control...

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...one small regional market can rapidly damage a global reputation. Crisis such as this case, acts as a stage for the world as during this time the world can see whether the company is organised, caring and responsible for the consequences. Ribena was certainly not organised and did not take responsibly of the misleading information that was shared with the public via advertisement and package labelling. Ribena used scapegoating strategy through which they tried to move the attention from them to another by stating they did not have reliable source to test the product accurately for Vitamin C content in the drink. This statement back fired at them as they are a multinational company that specialises in health and pharmaceutical products. This is an important lesson for companies to consult and make wise statements to avoid further embarrassment for the parent company.

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