Rapid Response to Food Recall in the Age of Fake News

When a major cheese manufacturer recalled more than a dozen products upon learning from a supplier that select cheeses may have been contaminated with listeria, Golin’s team of rapid responders enabled the client to quickly inform and protect its consumers, and correct misinformation that was spreading through questionable news sites.   

Golin mobilized quickly to develop and issue a suite of communications for all audiences within hours of learning the details, including a dark site, press release, social media announcements and Q&A, consumer hotline messaging, customer and supplier letters. Golin’s speed and quality enabled the client to issue the recall on the same day it learned it would likely need to do so. Golin also managed all inquiries on social media, providing responses to consumers within an average of four minutes. 

Beyond informing all potentially affected audiences, Golin combatted a slew of misleading articles on fake news sites, spurred by an American News story with a sensationalist, click-bait headline. The story was published on dozens of similarly questionable sites. Golin deployed its truth squad to immediately contact these sites to have the stories removed or corrected, in addition to contacting credible news sites that reported inaccurate information. Golin successfully removed or corrected 244 stories in all.  

As a result of Golin’s rapid response, the client effectively executed and communicated a complex recall. Retailers promptly pulled affected products from shelves and no consumers fell ill. Further, Golin helped maintain strong brand health metrics throughout and following the recall.