The recall actually affects seven of their products, all variants of the Dairy Milk brand, where some of these products may contain minute traces of salmonella. While Cadbury says the recall is being carried out as a “precautionary measure,” the news reporting of it would likely cause some alarm among consumers.
From the BBC report:
[…] A Cadbury spokesman said […] “The levels are significantly below the standard that would be any health problem, but we are taking this measure as a precaution.” The [Food Standards Agency] said it was advising people not to eat the products and is carrying out an investigation. The [Health Protection Agency] is also carrying out an investigation.
What’s especially interesting is that the contamination happened some five months ago, yet only now has Cadbury issued a product recall. Much of the news commentary is asking why it has taken Cadbury so long to issue the product recall. And take a look at blogosphere commentary so far.
This could be damaging to Cadbury, and I would imagine their corporate communicators are rolling out the crisis communication plan they undoubtedly have tucked up their sleeves.
You wouldn’t get that impression, though, from their website. Nothing on the corporate site nor the main brand site, although there is a prominent link to the recall announcement on the company’s UK site.
BL Ochman writes that Cadbury goes for total message control in how they’re handling communication over this recall. From what I can see today, it’s very little communication rather than any kind of control.
Cadbury has a great opportunity here to create the means for some two-way dialogue with consumers as part of their communication activity on what they need to do to allay consumer concerns about health risks as well as reinforce the values of their brand as being safe to consume. Blogs could have featured as part of that plan, but it’s too late now – you need to have your social media in place as part of your crisis planning well before the crisis actually comes along.
Cadbury did have a series of blogs set up for newly-hired graduates to talk about their experiences as new employees. Those blogs are closed now. A pity, as that could have been an interesting and already-established place for some discussion surrounding this issue.
Watching the fast-moving developments.