Saturday, December 18, 2004

What do companies under attack have in common with Michael Jackson?

Over the years, from Detroit when Ralph Nader seized on them for safety, to drug companies when pharmaceuticals are found to be be dangerous; tobacco companies denied that cigarettes caused lung cancer and food companies that too much eating causes obesity, we see the same patterns. Top management thinks that if they repeat their defense often enough and loudly enough they can drown out the critics. They often even believe it is true. However, this is parallel behavior to Michael Jackson continuing to spend social time with children after being accused of pedophila. Whether true or not, the appearance of impropriety or bad behavior may be all that it needed. Unfortunately, lawyers may advise denial, but this only serves to increase the enormity of the crime in the public's eyes. The manufacturer's of silicone breast implants denied any fault, and while there is still scientific doubt, the public condemmed them. Asbestos manufacturers denied all flaws. The public believes that corporations lie, and certainly that any data which seems to prove innocence that comes from the company, or is sponsored by it, is unlikely to be true. Any inaccuracy or ambiguity in the data is the end of any credibility the company has.

Comanies should not stonewall, and have to make the public part of the solution.

No comments: