BP & Toyota Can Learn From Wal-Mart’s Quick Action to Protect Public, Says PR Expert Dobson

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Brand PR and CrisisPR expert Brian Dobson said, "Companies such as BP and Toyota can learn a lesson about good CrisisPR management from Wal-Mart, as the global retailer was quick to remove questionable costume jewelry from its store shelves."

The toy and licensing industries should continually hold product manufacturers to high safety standards and learn a lesson from Wal-Mart about acting promptly to protect consumers

“Criticized for mishandling their crises, BP and Toyota can learn a lesson in crisis management from Wal-Mart, which acted quickly to stem public concern by removing the Miley Cyrus brand of children’s necklaces from stores until testing can verify safety,” said public relations expert Brian Dobson of Dobson Communications, a PR firm specializing in brand building.

“In CrisisPR, companies can learn from the speed of global retailer Wal-Mart in taking action to demonstrate customer safety is a top priority," said Dobson of DobsonPR.com.

"In contrast, BP was slow to act when its oil well began a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico and is under fire about estimates of the spill’s size and clean-up. Toyota was slow to recall cars with gas and brake pedal problems and sales sharply declined and needed massive price discounting to offset,” he added.

The Associated Press had tests performed on Miley Cyrus jewelry, showing high levels of the toxic metal cadmium. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and FAF Inc., of Greenville, RI, had announced a voluntary recall of necklaces and bracelets containing high levels of cadmium, and AP subsequently reported results of its testing this month. Wal-Mart removed the products following the AP report.

“Toy companies and the licensing industry should take note that Wal-Mart, the main buyer in their business world, acted quickly to remove questionable products,” said Dobson. He noted that, “Two years ago, the industry was rocked by Mattel’s recall of products containing leaded paint and small magnets that might harm kids and a public concern skyrocketed about toy safety.”

“DobsonPR.com has handled PR for major brands, from Surge Licensing’s first decade of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles triumph to FUNimation's first years Dragon Ball Z success, and we have seen that the common denominator of lasting properties is alert, involved management,” added Dobson.

“The toy and licensing industries should continually hold product manufacturers to high safety standards and learn a lesson from Wal-Mart about acting promptly to protect consumers,” said Dobson.

Dobson has managed public relations for mega-hits such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles during the 1990s and this decade's hit Dragon Ball Z anime property, along with promoting such brands as Gumby, Where's Waldo and Casper the Ghost. His agency represented licensing and merchandising companies in the U.S. and Europe. He has also managed issue and crisis public relations in pharmaceutical, food, consumer product, education, nutrition and other industries.

Before forming Dobson Communications, Brian Dobson headed PR at a Fortune 50 global consumer products company and was a member of its Crisis Committee. He entered PR at the New York Stock Exchange during a crisis, after being a journalist at the AP-DJ newswire of Dow Jones and at Reuters, where he wrote the daily stock market commentary.

Based in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and online at http://www.DobsonPR.com, Dobson Communications has managed a variety of brand building PR campaigns in several sectors, from toys to technology. The firm has handled PR in major crises for companies including a major Japanese pharmaceutical and nutritional products company, Japan’s lead supplier of blood, a major US food company and other clients in crisis situation, in addition to marketing and brand building PR. For information contact Barbara Green at 203-894-9240 or Barbara_Green (at) DobsonPR (dot) com.

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