Crisis Management at Bausch & Lomb (B): The 'ReNu with Moistureloc' Debacle

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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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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG171 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Marketing Management/ Crisis Management/ Public Relations
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2005-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Bausch & Lomb
Industry : Eye Care
Countries : Europe, USA, Asia


This case discusses how Bausch & Lomb (B&L), a leading eye care company, dealt with a product crisis related to its brand, ReNu with MoistureLoc (MoistureLoc). In May 2006, B&L withdrew its MoistureLoc brand globally after the product was linked to a rare but potentially blinding fungal infection of the eye, Fusarium keratitis.

There was a controversy regarding the company's handling of the situation. B&L had initially desisted from withdrawing the brand as there was no scientific evidence to prove that MoistureLoc was responsible for the infections. However, some experts felt that by not being proactive, B&L had put its whole lens care business in jeopardy.

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Even though B&L recalled the MoistureLoc brand, despite there being no conclusive evidence, the damage to its sales had already been done. The company had lost its market leadership in the lens care business in the US market and its contact lens business also suffered. The company also had to deal with numerous product liability lawsuits. B&L believed that the marketing efforts it had initiated after the crisis would help it to revive its business post 2007. An unrelated product scare, this time with ReNu MultiPlus, in early 2007 also made the company's efforts to rebuild the 'ReNu' brand even more difficult.

This case discusses the reactions of analysts and crisis management experts to B&L's handling of the MoistureLoc crisis. It also highlights the issues and challenges faced by large companies in dealing effectively with a product crisis.


Understand the issues and challenges faced by companies in managing a product crisis

Understand the importance of clear and effective communication with customers in the event of a controversy/crisis

Understand the short term and long term implications for a well known product/brand affected by a safety crisis


  Page No.
Collateral Damage! 1
Background Note 2
B&L Withdraws 'ReNu Moistureloc' 5
'ReNu Moistureloc' Finally Implicated? 6
B&L's Business affected by the Debacle 7
Failure in Managing the Crisis? 9
Another ReNu Scare? 10
Outlook 11
Exhibits 13


Public Relations, Crisis Management, ReNu with MoistureLoc, ReNu MultiPlus, Bausch & Lomb, Brand Building, Fusarium keratitis, Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson, Contact Lens, Lens Care Market, Wear&Care Program, Product Liability Lawsuit, Consumer Education Campaigns, Current Good Manufacturing practices (cGMP), Growth Driver, Market Leadership, Marketing Strategies

Collateral Damage ! - Next Page>>


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