Magazine article Marketing

PR Deluge in Perrier Drought

Magazine article Marketing

PR Deluge in Perrier Drought

Article excerpt

PR deluge in Perrier drought

The timing, at least for the social historian, is perfect. Not even two months into the new decade and one of the great symbols of the "designer" 80s, Perrier water, is being temporarily withdrawn from every world market.

The dramatic response to the discovery of traces of chemical Benzene in the water, not just in the US but in the UK, Japan and Denmark, was a classic piece of crisis PR. Even though government health authorities endorsed Perrier's claim that tainted water offered no dangers to consumers, the brand image was beginning to look distinctly ill. Perrier's estimate that it was best to bear the cost of one expensive but decisive move, rather than see water clouded with doubts for months to come, was surely the right one.

Ironically, the company is partly a victim of the environment which helped make it such a success. In the 70s, to suffer a case of food poisoning or to be bitten by the neighbour's Rottweiler was something you mentioned quietly to friends at work or in the pub. …

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