Recalls Happen !

The Complex Story of
Product recalls

Product recalls are often associated with negativity (product defects, health concerns, safety issues, etc.), but they can also reveal a company’s commitment to their customers and overall trustworthiness. For this to happen, an enterprise must be proactive, develop a plan and take necessary action. We’re here to help point you in the right direction.

What is a recall?


  • Recalled Products May Need To Be Strictly Monitored Until Redeemed Safe For The Consumer
  • Once Approved By Quality Control And Local Authorities, The Product Can Be Dispatched Again
  • A Consumer May Report Problems Directly To The Producer, Retailer, Authority Or Media
  • Depending On The Recall, Products Can Be Sent Back, Repaired On Site Or Replaced Altogether
  • In Addition To Newspapers And Tv Ads, Media Can Also Include Social Media, Blogs, Forums, Etc.
  • When Problems Are Discovered Early On, A Company Can Voluntarily Intiate A Recall
  • A Product Defect Is Discovered. Oops!
  • If The Authority Discovers Hazards That Pose A Risk To The Public, A Mandatory Recall Can Be Enforced
  • Retailers Can Include Both Traditional Shops And Online Vendors
  • Listen to the consumer

    Tune into blogs, forums, product ratings and related communities to find out what kinds of customer complaints are becoming alarmingly frequent.

  • pay attention to quality reports

    In addition to internal quality tests, tracking independent test institutions such as the Stiftung Warentest will keep you well-informed.

  • maintain good relations

    Being in touch with your suppliers, management, the media, etc. will raise your chances of resolving issues quickly and efficiently in the event of a crisis.

  • No Risk:

    This is a safe area. No direct measures are necessary and the products can be sold. However, any defects should be fixed within the next production batch.

  • Acceptable Risk:

    Remaining products in storage should not be sold to a large extent anymore. Critical testing of early products and components should be carried out and the risk should be eliminated as quickly as possible.

  • Defensible Risk:

    Further selling of the product will pose a serious risk to the consumer or their property. Direct measures for remaining units in the storage as well as the distributor are necessary. Stop selling immediately and offer a redemption.

  • Serious Risk:

    Products cause serious safety and health issues. Immediately take action e.g. withdrawal, product recall. Furthermore, notify distributors, local authorities and consumers.

  • Make your Message clear!

    All released information should be coherent and easy to understand. This avoids unwanted misinformation.

  • Be Transparent!

    Provide as much specific information as possible. This ensures that you remain trustworthy in the eyes of your consumers and emphasize accuracy of your perspective of the story.

  • Manage your brand!

    Integrate your corporation’s philosophy. Show that you stand behind your products and your brand promise in order to maintain an authentic image.

  • Use the right channels!

    For greater attention, identify your target audience and their communication channels carefully. Use those to address them directly.

  • Be Quick, But Don’t
    Rush into it!

    Speed plays a crucial role. But still take enough time to prepare yourself thoroughly. Take all factors into consideration. A preventative crisis team might speed up your decisions.


Food – cookies


  • Long thin metal strands were found in the company’s cookies. Oops!


  • This cookie company and its partners were transparent in providing information regarding the problem. They informed the media immediately and turned to social media platforms to engage in a direct dialogue with their customers.


  • The attention brought by the recall led to positive exposure of the brand. Due to the speed and great organization of the recall, customers who hadn’t previously heard of the com-pany now saw them in a positive light.

Toys – rubber ducky


  • Rubber duck toys for children contained a motor that was prone to catching fire. Oops!


  • The company sent letters to the kids, written from the perspective of a child, declaring that the ducks were ill and that the kids should send them back to be cured. After the recall, the kids got their “cured” ducks back.


  • The recall went positively viral immediately, being shared not only on social media and blogs. The focus was put more on the humor of the recall, rather than the product’s defect. Innovative communication and humor helped to raise awareness and increase consumers’ participation.

Electronics – Dishwasher


  • Dishwashers contained a component that overheated and potentially caused fire hazards. Oops!


  • They showed flexibility in allowing customers to decide how they wanted the problem fixed. They could either have their dishwashers repaired or purchase a new one for 20% off.


  • Despite the dishwashers being too large to transport, the company was still able to provide a practical solution to have them repaired or replaced. They integrated their corporate philosophy into the recall to retain their authenticity with consumers. A voluntary recall shows the value of the customer.

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