Purifying a Tainted Corporate Image: Odwalla's Response to an E. Coli Poisoning

Thomsen, Steven R.; Rawson, Bret
September 1998
Public Relations Quarterly;Fall98, Vol. 43 Issue 3, p35
Academic Journal
This article describes the corporate image restoration strategies of Odwalla Inc. in the United States. Odwalla made effective use of bolstering, corrective action, and defeasibility in the early stages of the crisis. When it became clear that Odwalla had failed to meet proper sanitation guidelines, the company was able to effectively use transcendence to shift the public and government scrutiny onto the general practices of the fresh juice and vegetable beverage industry. As has been suggested by Heath (1997), no strategy can be effective if the actions of the organization are not consistent with the expectations and demands of key audiences. In the case of Odwalla, it was not the mere words alone but the company's quick and prompt actions combined with its well-developed goodwill that enabled it to effectively resolve the crisis.


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