Growing mortality rates, falling share value, a brand reputation for safety and reliability in tatters, official government investigations and the prospect of a 'wave of litigation' (the Times, 26/8). It could be from the text book of worst PR nightmares, but is the current reality for both Ford's Jacques Nasser and Firestone's Masatoshi Ono.
With such statistics as 88 dead and more than 250 injured in the US alone, Nasser's attempt to shift responsibility to Firestone with the assertion that the issue was essentially 'a tyre problem' provided little comfort.
Even Nasser's prime-time television appearances to offer assurance of Ford's commitment to customer safety and a full investigation attracted criticism.
Congressman Bill Tauzin said he was more interested in hearing 'Ford's unscripted version of what went wrong' (the Australian, 2/9). Others wondered how long the new tactic of CEOs 'saying they're sorry and telling the truth' would work on a public that is already sceptical of 'publicity gimmicks' (Sunday Times, 10/9).
Analysis and commentary by Echo Research.
Cuttings by Durrants. More information can be found at: www.echoResearch.com.