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Is Product Quality Suffering At The Expense Of Marketing $$$?

  • Ad Age, Monday, August 9, 2010 10:57 AM
The highly publicized product failures at BP, Toyota and Johnson & Johnson have Jack Neff wondering if companies may be putting too many of their eggs in their marketing baskets at the expense of quality control. "All that investment in marketing to build brands is for naught if it leads to recalls that sap share and destroy brand equity," he writes.

Neff points out that the Big Three Transgressors Against Public Trust aren't the only ones who have had recalls this year, albeit under less media glare. Kellogg in June recalled 28 million boxes of cereal for a waxy smell and flavor; P&G has had eight recalls since November, including three for Vicks, three for Iams and one each for Pringles and Scope; Unilever has had three recalls since October for Breyers, Country Crock and Slim-Fast. And stories containing "recall" on Google Trends are much higher this year than in the past six.

"[Quality] is the orphan function. It's rarely represented in any boardroom setting unless there's some emergency," Donald Kay Riker, a consultant with On Point Advisors and publisher of the blog, tells Neff.



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