Tylenol Crisis Essay

Submitted By ccmcmahon
Words: 3244
Pages: 13

Johnson & Johnson: Tylenol Crisis
Chelsey McMahon

Coe College


Johnson & Johnson produces a variety of different products; one in particular that many people are familiar with is Tylenol. Tylenol was the nation's leading over-the-counter drug and Johnson & Johnson's bestselling product. Tylenol, which is the brand name for Acetaminophen, is a pain reliever and a fever reducer used to treat many conditions such as headache, arthritis, backache, toothaches and colds. (Stateman, 2008, p.7)
In October 1982, Tylenol was the leading pain-killer medicine in the United States. During this time a catastrophic crisis occurred when seven victims from the Chicago area were reported dead after taking extra-strength Tylenol capsules. The tampering of the Tylenol occurred once the product reached the shelves. The bottles were removed from the shelves, infected with cyanide and returned to the shelves. In 1982, Tylenol controlled 37 percent of its market with revenue of about $1.2 billion. Immediately after the cyanide poisonings, its market share was reduced to seven percent. (Latson, 2014, p.1)
In this paper I will be studying and analyzing what happens through this difficult time period for the Johnson & Johnson’s company. I will be discussing the outcome of the catastrophe and how the company manages to recover from the crisis when re-introducing the product and overcoming the adversities. This study is important because it educates the public to be aware of the medical risks that could happen. Due to this stressful situation, Johnson & Johnson effectively demonstrated how a major business should handle a disaster. The public relations profession has an important role to play in helping companies identify and manage risks that could damage their reputation. Tylenol succeeded in managing its crisis unlike many other corporations that have dealt with similar situations. (Stateman, 2008, p.7)
This research will show how Johnson & and Johnson handled the Tylenol crisis from the time it began and escalated into chaos to how the company reintroduced its products for the first time. It will also give a description of the methods that the company used to gain control and to also capture the consumers trust in their products. It will describe the journey of Johnson & Johnson’s reputation through the Tylenol Cyanide Crisis.
In 1886 it began with three brothers; Robert Wood Johnson, James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson to create a line of ready-to-use surgical dressings for the Johnson & Johnson company. The company produced its first products in 1886 and became incorporated in 1887. (Olaniran et al., 2012, p. 153)
In 1888, Johnson & Johnson pioneered the first commercial first aid kits designed to help railroad workers. They would soon become the standard practice for treating injuries. In 1894, Johnson & Johnson's baby product business began with maternity kits to make childbirth safer for mother and babies. The company’s baby powder also went on sale during this year and was extremely successful. Robert Wood's granddaughter, Mary Lea, was the first baby to be used on the baby powder label. (Prokesch, 1986, p.1)
Robert Wood Johnson was the first president of the company. He worked to improve sanitation practices in the nineteenth century. He died in 1910, he was succeeded in the presidency by his brother James Wood Johnson until 1932, and then by his son, Robert Wood Johnson II. (Prokesch, 1986, p.1)
Johnson & Johnson is a company that has an impeccable reputation and consists of employees that have outstanding work ethic. The company is known for their customer service and follows up on consumer issues and concerns. Johnson & Johnson has 165 companies in 53 countries around the world and it has manufactured products to such as baby powder, shampoo, cotton swabs, bandages, toothbrushes and the list goes on. The company treats its employers with the utmost respect which