CHINA FOOD TAMPERING

[Agency: The Abernathy MacGregor Group]

Challenge: We have provided counsel to a U.S. Fortune 10 company on two separate issues of food tampering and food recall in China. The crisis training that we had previously conducted with the company and its management provided the necessary framework for responding to crisis situations and allowed the issues to be resolved quickly and efficiently, with minimal damage to the company’s reputation.

Actions: Our agency worked with the company’s local corporate affairs team to align on strategy, coordination, messaging and stakeholder outreach and developed communications materials (media statements, executive messaging, stakeholder Q&A) for that team as well as the larger U.S.-based corporate affairs team. As the situation developed, we counseled the crisis response team, coordinated with the U.S.-based corporate affairs team to handle incoming media requests and participated in regular calls to strategize and align messaging. We worked with the local corporate affairs team in China to understand the business impact of the issue, actively monitored media reports to identify and correct misinformation, tracked other relevant stakeholder perception as the issue evolved, and provided high-level analysis of media for the corporate affairs teams in the U.S. and China. Finally, our agency helped the company reinforce its commitment to food safety and announce additional guidelines that it was adopting to further strengthen its standards.

Results: Reputational damage was mitigated, and the company has assumed a leadership role on food safety issues.