Consumer Promotions: a Case Study of Cadbury's

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Consumer Promotions: A Case Study of Cadbury's

Three years back, Cadbury's found itself in the eye of a storm, when a few instances of worms in its Dairy Milk bars were reported in Maharashtra [ Images ]. In less than two weeks, the company launched a PR campaign for the trade. And three months later, came an ad campaign featuring Big B [ Images ] and a revamped poly-flow packaging. Marketing and communications experts brought together by AICAR and the Subhash Ghoshal Foundation say that Cadbury moved quickly to bear the cost of damage. And thanks to its equity with the consumers, Cadbury's won back consumer confidence, with hit on sales notwithstanding. In October 2003, just a month before Diwali [ Images ], customers in Mumbai [ Images ] complained about finding worms in Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates. Quick to respond, the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration seized the chocolate stocks manufactured at Cadbury's Pune plant. In defense, Cadbury issued a statement that the infestation was not possible at the manufacturing stage and poor storage at the retailers was the most likely cause of the reported case of worms. But the FDA didn't buy that. FDA commisioner, Uttam Khobragade told CNBC-TV18, "It was presumed that worms got into it at the storage level, but then what about the packing - packaging was not proper or airtight, either ways it's a manufacturing defect with unhygienic conditions or improper packaging." That was followed by allegations and counter-allegations between Cadbury and FDA. The heat of negative publicity melted Cadbury's sales by 30 per cent, at a time when it sees a festive spike of 15 per cent. For the first time, Cadbury's advertising went off air for a month and a half after Diwali, following the controversy. Consumers seemed to ignore their chocolate cravings. As a brand under fire, in October itself, Cadbury's launched project 'Vishwas' - a education initiative covering 190,000 retailers in key states. But what the company did...
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