Monday, June 28, 2010

Attack, and response

On Friday, 6/25/10, someone started a well-crafted online smear campaign using multiple websites, Facebook and mass-messaging, falsely accusing me of some terrible crimes. This blog tells the story. I hope the final blog entry will be a description of the SOB going to jail.

Several people who became aware of my sad situation early, advised me to keep quiet "until it blows over."

I decided to be more proactive, and quickly started the blog as a counterattack, hoping that anyone investigating the bogus claims would find my side of the story and believe me, or at least investigate further.
  • General Motors ignored reports ("Unsafe at any Speed") about the handling of the Corvair. Ford ignored reports about dangerous Pinto gas tanks. Both car brands are long gone.
  • Perrier delayed response to claims that benzine was in their bottled water, and people drank contaminated Perrier for months before Perrier issued a recall. The company's reputaton was hurt greatly.
  • OTOH, in 1993 Pepsi immediately and boldly reacted to reports of product tampering and achieved strong media coverage and public support. The reports were hoaxes, and the trouble was over in two weeks.
  • In 1982, Johnson & Johnson was faced with a much bigger problem: seven people in Chicago died after taking poisoned Extra-Strength Tylenol. J&J responded immediately, and proved that the poison was added to the products in retail stores, and that there was nothing wrong with the manufacturing process. Several important media experts predicted that the Tylenol brand was dead, but J&J's rapid and proactive intervention saved the brand, which is an extremely popular painkiller today.
I drink Pepsi and use Extra-Strength Tylenol, and am following their examples in crisis management.

I urge others to do the same. If you wait until the bad news blows over, you may blow over, too.

If you are portrayed as a perpetrator, it's important to show that you are a victim
(Tylenol photo from J&J, Pinto photo from