Essay about Dow Corning Silicone Crisis Analysis

1323 Words Apr 11th, 2008 6 Pages
When you think of benchmark cases in crisis management, certain names come to mind immediately. Johnson & Johnson's handling of the Tylenol crisis is a great example of crisis management and has become a benchmark of how to handle a crisis. The Dow Corning silicone breast implant crisis has become a benchmark of how not to handle a crisis. There are a number of valuable lessons learned from this particular crisis. Both crises dealt with public health and safety issues, but both were handled very differently. Because of this, Dow Corning's reputation and image suffered considerably.
As a result, Dow Corning is still suffering today from a crisis that began in the late 1980s. The company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1995 and is
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The lack of sympathy in the company statements did nothing to improve its image either. This only added to the public perception of the huge company against sick and frightened women. Many felt, and I agree that Dow Corning failed to be straightforward with its publics, primarily with the FDA, plastic surgeons, and all silicone breast implant recipients.
Two of the biggest publics Dow Corning did not deal with properly were the media and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These two publics did the most damage to the company's public image and reputation. Dow Corning attacked the FDA in an effort to shift the public's attention away from the fact that it was demanding damaging internal documents to be released by the company. This did little to help Dow Corning's public image. By making the FDA struggle to get the internal documents, Dow Corning made a powerful advisory. In my opinion this stance accomplished little in restoring Corning's public image, but played a significant role in escalating the tensions between the company and the FDA. The company also treated the media in the same way. Refusal to release information and not making their executives available for questioning increased the negative media coverage.
During the second stage, September 1991-February 1992, Dow Corning continued to attack the FDA and deny accusations that its breast implants were unsafe. When the FDA put a moratorium

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