Chris Woodcock MD, Razor PR, crisis management



Sir; The recall of key Cadbury products is a classic example of the strategy dilemmas facing a brand that commands strong consumer affection.

We start from the position that the FSA and EC Regulation 178/2002 require that food shouldn't be on the market if it could be unfit for human consumption.

Established brands must also consider reputation and brand protection before deciding whether to recall, rather than basing a decision on science and probability. Emotional factors are equally vital in risk assessment. And it is Cadbury's apparent partial transparency that is now attracting most criticism.

EU legislation demands that food suppliers err on the side of caution to maintain a high level of health protection. While strong brands usually recover, they may also suffer if comprehensive risk assessment isn't deployed at every stage.