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Mitigating fall out from product recall

A national consumer products company confronted with a major product recall asked SMA to develop and implement a crisis communications plan to reassure nervous investors and maintain the trust of customers and other external stakeholders.

Client Challenge

Effectively communicate a product recall to the investment community to reassure investors and support the current valuation

A rechargeable battery packaged with one of the company’s products had resulted in fire damage at a residence. Although a forensics expert identified the source of the damage as a battery packaged separately with the product, and not the product itself, out of an abundance of caution the company elected to conduct a broad recall.

Management sought to clearly communicate the issue to the public while also assuring investors that its recall decision would not adversely affect sales.

The Sharon Merrill Advantage

Comprehensive communications strategy through a combination of employee and partner communications, consumer messaging, investor materials, and media statements

SMA developed a comprehensive strategy that consisted of communications to employees, messaging tailored to investors, consumers and retail partners, and statements to the media. Messaging centered on the company’s quick and decisive action to implement a product recall and the immaterial effect of the recall on financial performance.

SMA trained senior executives and spokespeople to respond effectively to the barrage of media inquiries. The goal: to demonstrate the company’s principal focus on consumer safety and give investors increased confidence in the company’s operating outlook.

young man using a digital tablet while working in a warehouse
group of people in a meeting


Reinforced the company’s reputation as a product leader and maintained support for the stock’s valuation

SMA’s proactive communications plan presented a unified message of product leadership and consistent operating performance. The result was enhanced consumer confidence in the company’s products and solidified investor support for the stock price, which was unaffected by the recall.