LETTER: Would you be ready to face Newsnight?

Having just read your article about the power of the web in managing a crisis (Features, 14 March), I opened my browser to find the BBC had passed evidence that Reckitt Benckiser was engaging in anti-competitive activity around Gaviscon to the OFT.

Reckitt Benckiser is fighting to prevent market share being stolen from under its feet. Tough competition means doing business at the competitive edge, but also in a world of increasing scrutiny over what is fair. When you lead the market, issues are all around you.

The Reckitt Benckiser story points to two important reputation management principles. Firstly, be prepared to react when something unexpected happens. Regardless of whether there were plans around Gaviscon or not, the company needs to respond quickly with clear communication that addresses its stakeholders.

Secondly, market leaders facing scrutiny around competition need an active issues management programme.

I wonder how many chief execs are going home tonight ready to bump into a Newsnight journalist with tough questions on the way they do business?

Neil Bayley, director, Porter Novelli.

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