Tag Archives: the art of apologizing

J&J takes apologies to a whole new level

Apologizing has become one of the standard practices of crisis communication and reputation management. The problem is, they are all starting to sound alike. “We deeply regret the impact this event is having on our valued [whatevers].”

Johnson & Johnson had a rather rough 2010 with millions of products recalled including infant Tylenol. Then in January, 2011 its popular ob tampons quietly disappeared from shelves. The products loyal fans went nuts on social media and J&J, without apparently explaining the reasons for pulling the product, decided to bring it back.

I suspect that their marketing and public affairs staff got a little tired of the standard apology that they had to drag out over and over with the recalls. So they got creative, and in the process I think have set the standard for apologies.

Here is their apology–turn up your speakers and make sure you put in your first name.