I admit it, I get most of my news from – ahem – Twitter and Google alerts. So, it’s not surprising then that Proctor and Gamble is top of mind this morning as I read three articles about P&G’s new Pampers with Dry Max and the virtual throng of moms who hate them.
Today, Business Week, Reuters, and the Wall Street Journal all published pieces about moms who have taken to Facebook and their blogs to complain about the rashes (they’re calling them chemical burns) their children have allegedly received from using these new diapers with Dry Max.
P&G’s response has been a bit surprising to me. According to the Business Week article, P&G’s spokesman Bryan McCleary said, “We’re insulted that someone would imply that our products are dangerous.”
That statement alone is quite telling, right? It encapsulates the theme of P&G’s response thus far. They’re insulted, bitter, mad, defensive. It’s a recipe for disaster essentially.
According to the Wall Street Journal article, Diaper Gripes Grow Louder for P&G, Proctor and Gamble is even compiling a ”Pampers Dishonesty Report” that scrutinizes the moms’ Facebook campaign and says the moms are using blatant coaching to use “chemical burns” instead of “diaper rashes”. And, they are implying the moms who are making these claims are loyal to other diaper brands or cloth diapers.
One thing P&G hasn’t learned yet is people holler because they want to be heard! Calling moms dishonest, going on the defensive, and feeling insulted because consumers have disparaged the brand is definitely not an effective way to go about putting out the fire in the new digital world. This might have worked in 1995, but not in 2010.
I’ve met many on the Pampers team last year and I like them a lot. But I think P&G needs to start listening to these moms and stop being defensive! Nothing gets done this way and it will only get worse before it gets better.