Tylenol Case Study

Topics: Public relations, Crisis management, Johnson & Johnson Pages: 4 (1278 words) Published: April 17, 2007
Tylenol Case Study
In 1982 one of Americas most well known and established corporations suffered a large blow that could have crippled many other organizations financially. The issue involved the Johnson and Johnson Corporation also known as J&J and their Tylenol capsule product; this affected the company, its employees and the public. The J&J Corporation was not remembered for the incident but how the incident was handled and in this case study I will discuss the communication techniques that were used to create the outcome for the J&J Corporation. The Tragedy

The incident in 1982, which was also, referred as the Tylenol tragedy, involved person or persons that are currently unknown who used the Extra Strength Tylenol capsules as a means to spread havoc in the pharmaceutical industry. The perpetrators laced the Extra Strength Tylenol capsules with Cyanide. Cyanide is a powerful poison that can kill a person quickly; the Cyanide laced capsules were responsible for the deaths of seven persons who had used the Tylenol capsules. The incident was not the fault of the J&J Corporation but since the product maker was J&J the reaction from the public placed the blame on the company. About the Company

The J&J Corporation was founded in 1886 by Robert Wood Johnson as a medical compound and adhesives manufacturer. The company had grown throughout the years as a medical supply company and in the 1950's the company introduced Tylenol (J&J, 2006). The Tylenol capsules were very popular over the counter pain relievers; the sales of the capsules were 19% of J&J's profits and the product had over 100 million users in the United States alone. The company had over 37% of the market share in the painkiller industry prior to the tragedy in 1982.

Publics Involved
The incident affected millions of Americans including employees and shareholders of the company as well as other pharmaceutical makers. J&J took a large...

References: Department of Defense, (2006) Crisis Communication Strategies: The Johnson and Johnson
Tylenol Crisis. Retrieved March 31, 2006 from
Etext, (2006). Public Relations Practices: A Classic: Tylenol Rides it Out and Gains a Legacy.
Retrieved March 31, 2006 from University of Phoenix rEsource Etext.
Johnson and Johnson, (2006) Our Company History. Retrieved March 31, 2006 from
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