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Pet food PR comes late to the table

Ashley Milne-Tyte Apr 5, 2007
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Pet food PR comes late to the table

Ashley Milne-Tyte Apr 5, 2007
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TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Proctor & Gamble finally got its PR wheels rolling this week on the huge pet food recall. P&G owns Iams and Eukanuba. The company put ads in newspapers around the country telling people which brands are potentially harmful and which aren’t. We had to ask, where have they been for the last three weeks? Ashley Milne-Tyte has more.


ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Pet store owner Dave Ratner says yesterday morning, he received some reassuring flyers from Iams to pin up in his four Massachusetts pet stores.

But given that news of the recall broke on a Friday, almost three weeks ago, he wonders why Iams and other brands didn’t get in touch sooner.

DAVE RATNER: Saturday morning and Sunday morning, your sales reps should have been in every single retail store putting up signs on the shelves and talking to the store employees about ‘this is how to respond to the problem.’ You know, this is a Harvard Business case in how to screw up a brand.

Still, communications expert Andrew Gilman says at least Iams and Eukanuba have finally sprung into action.

ANDREW GILMAN: They’re now taking a leadership role, and I would bet that the other manufacturers will also have to respond.

A spokesman for the two brands says they haven’t reached out to the public ’til now because the source of the contamination wasn’t known until recently. And they were busy getting potentially harmful food off shelves.

I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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