Tuesday 20 March 2007


Interesting post here via Seth Godin's blog about Johnson & Johnson attempting to avert negative publicity about their Splenda artificial sweetener by buying up lots of domains that might be used by campaigners against their product. Domains like "splendakills.net" and "splendasucks.net".

What misguided corporate PR advisor suggested they do this? Obviously they can't buy up every conceivable domain that might be used against them, so this strategy can surely only backfire? People hear about it (it is all over the blogosphere now) and some will assume that Johnson & Johnson / Tate & Lyle know something about the safety of the product which makes them expect people to campaign against it.

That's no way to manage your brand. If there is something genuinely wrong with the product they should fix it or withdraw it. If there is nothing wrong with it (and, without having done any proper research at all, my money would be on it being completely safe), then they should treat their consumers as adults and just explain the facts.


sustainableisgood said...

I agree the brand management on this issue hasn't exactly been the smartest thing. As you point out there is no way to buy all the possible names how would you even determine what they are. That is one of the reasons I wrote the story I was fascinated at the attempts to brainstorm up potential names to buy - like "victimsofsplenda.com" I mean come on. - rider

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