Nurofen Plus crisis is a headache for Reckitt


By Jonathan Hemus | Columnist

August 26, 2011 | 2 min read

Last night it was revealed that some packets of Nurofen Plus contain not headache pills but an anti-psychotic drug Seroquel XL designed to treat conditions like schizophrenia. This is clearly a situation which requires rapid and effective crisis communication even if, as early reports suggest, the brand itself is not at fault.

Crucial to effective reputation protection is filling the information vacuum and reassuring your stakeholders. In today’s world, that is most often achieved through online and telephone communication. But Reckitt Benckiser – parent company of Nurofen Plus – has appeared slow to activate these communication channels.

Hours after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had issued its announcement about the issue, there was:

- no information on the Nurofen website

- no information on the Reckitt Benckiser website

- no information on the Nurofen Facebook page

- no one manning the consumer helpline

By the following morning a short statement had appeared on the Nurofen website, but information was still in short supply. The danger is that consumers turn to others for advice rather than Nurofen itself, a risky proposition in terms of reputation protection.

Businesses must be geared up to communicate swiftly and expansively if they want to retain control of their destinies in a crisis, with online communication a priority.

More thoughts on this issue on my personal blog here.

Jonathan Hemus


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