Public Relations: Ethics and the Law

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Name Instructor Course Date Ethics and Law Legal and ethical misconduct in any organization may result in adverse repercussions which could cost the organization time and costs in the efforts to control the damage, patch up their reputation and face any legal problems that may arise depending on the graveness of the matter. On various occasions, corporations both large and small have encountered any public relations crisis and have had to respond to give a somewhat needed image boost. The following paper there focuses on Odwalla Foods’ juice E.coli outbreak and how the firm managed the crisis. Odwalla Inc. is an American Food company that makes and sells smoothies, food bar, and fruit juices. The firm initially sold unpasteurized juice reasoning that pasteurizing process alters the taste of apple juice. The company experienced significant growth after incorporation in 1985’ spreading its distribution network to many other states from California. 1993 the Washington State health department linked an E. coli outbreak to the firm’s fresh and unpasteurized apple juice which was as a result of a using a bruised contaminated fruit. The outbreak left one child dead and a score of other consumers sick attributing to more than 20 lawsuits. As a result, Odwalla lost a third of its market share, pleaded guilty to criminal charges leading to $1.5 million from the FDA. Odwalla responded through the CEO Stephen Williamson by recalling all products containing carrot and apple juice costing the firm around $6.5 million. The firm accepted responsibility while addressing the media and committed to pay all medical expenses for the affected cases. The company fixed the

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