Crisis Management at Bausch & Lomb - The 'ReNu Moistureloc' Controversy

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG129
Case Length : 21 Pages
Period : 2005-2006
Organization : - Bausch and Lomb
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : USA, Asia
Industry : Eye Care

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

Bausch & Lomb Inc., based in Rochester, New York, USA, is an eye care company. The company came into being in 1853 when a German immigrant, John Jacob Bausch, set up an optical goods shop in Rochester, New York. Bausch borrowed US$60 for the purpose from a friend, Henry Lomb, who eventually became a partner. In the early days, B&L manufactured rubber eyeglass frames as well as a variety of optical products that required a high degree of manufacturing precision. By 1903, the firm had received patents for microscopes, binoculars, and even a camera shutter based on the eye's reaction to light.

In the 1900s, B&L produced the first optical quality glass made in America. Its sunglasses were used by the military in World War I. B&L is also credited with developing the lens of the cameras that took the first satellite pictures of the moon. In 1971, B&L introduced the first soft contact lenses.

As of April 2006, it was the largest global provider of eye care products. B&L's product lines included Vision Care, Surgical, and Pharmaceuticals. Its Vision Care business manufactured and marketed soft and GP (gas permeable) contact lenses, lens care products for soft and GP lenses, eye care products (such as eye drops and ointments) and vision accessories (such as magnifiers and eyeglass accessories).

The company offered a comprehensive line of products for ophthalmic surgery in the surgical market segment. It developed and marketed prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs9 used to treat a wide range of eye conditions, such as glaucoma, eye allergies, conjunctivitis, and dry eye.

The 'Bausch & Lomb' name is one of the best known and most respected healthcare brands in the world and B&L leverages on this brand name. In 2004, it employed approximately 12,400 people worldwide and its products were available in more than 100 countries. Its 2004, revenues were US$2.2 billion. (Refer to Exhibit III for B&L's logo and Exhibit IV for key financial data of B&L).

In late 2004, B&L launched ReNu MoistureLoc, its newest brand in the lens care segment (Refer to Exhibit V for a brief note on ReNu MoistureLoc and Exhibit VI for a pack shot of the product)...

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9] OTC drugs are sold across the counter for which prescription is not needed.


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