Can crises kill companies?

October 8, 2007

Of course. Here’s the latest–Topps, until a short time ago the nation’s largest provider of frozen hamburger. I guess the question is, what could have saved Topps from this? The economic problems I’m guessing stemmed from the huge recall and the loss of confidence in their customers or perhaps just the cost of the recall itself. Not certain if once the recall became necessary if any better crisis management could have saved them. If anyone has info, I’d be interested. This shows above all, better to make certain no e.coli gets in your meat–because if it does on this scale, the best c


3 Responses to “Can crises kill companies?”

  1. Michael Says:

    From what I saw, Topps’ demise seemed pretty swift. I think the reports said it was the economic impact associated with having to pull the majority of its product from the market.

    Maybe in this case any type of crisis management would have been futile? It didn’t look like there was even much time to respond and allay fears or communicate corrective action.

  2. Stephen Says:

    Couldnt find the Topps story on the link but one of the others raises an interesting point. It concerns Blackwater who find themselves contractually unable to use the media to defend their reputation which makes a crisis response difficult if not impossible. Transparency is not possible and they face the problem of showing they have learned and moved on without reference to the main incident which has put them into this position. The incident clearly has the possibility of inflicting real commercial damage and it will be interesting to see how the story develops.

  3. Michael Says:


    Blackwater is an interesting case. I wasn’t aware they aren’t allowed to publicity-seek.

    I saw Wired’s tongue-in-cheek Danger Room blog post about how the firm could lower it’s profile:

    Then again, maybe it could take some of that advice?

    There’s also this article I just found, another one from the Danger Room, about Blackwater hiring BM:

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