When it comes to crisis PR, no threat to a brand’s reputation should be taken lightly, and Campbell Soup Company recently demonstrated a perfect understanding of this concept. The company reacted swiftly to a recent report revealing that some of its canned food contains Bisphenol A (BPA), a toxic chemical that has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, infertility, obesity and diabetes.
The report prepared by the Breast Cancer Fund, Canada’s Environmental Defense, Ecology Center, Clean Production Action, Campaign for Healthier Solutions and the Mind the Store Campaign stated that out of 192 analyzed cans from various brands, 129 contained BPA, including Campbell’s.
“Our analysis showed that, across the board, canned food manufacturers both large and small are not making good on their promises to discontinue use of BPA,” the researchers concluded.
Even though the levels of BPA found in the cans was not considered high enough to cause harm, Campbell’s communications department acted quickly and posted an article on the company website last week titled “Roadmap to non-BPA packaging proves challenging.”
The piece outlined Campbell’s plans to completely remove the chemical from its cans by mid-2017. The article also reassured consumers of the brand’s commitment to transparency and highlighted some of the challenges the company faces during its transition to non-BPA packaging.
“Our commitment to transparency is about being willing to have tough conversations; to being open to discussing the challenging issues facing our industry and our company; and talking about how we are addressing issues that consumers care about – even when we don’t have all the answers,” said Mark Alexander, President of Campbell’s Americas Simple Meals & Beverages division.
This is a textbook example of how organizations need to communicate with the public during times of crises. By acting quickly and addressing the anticipated questions and concerns of its customers, Campbell’s positioned itself perfectly for any criticism that might result from the published report.
Rather than sticking its head in the sand and waiting for the problem to dissipate, the company used the crisis situation to showcase its values and commitment to transparency, thus solidifying its reputation as a responsible brand that cares about its customers.
Well done, Campbell’s, well done.