Boots have announced a recall of own brand cough and cold remedies over fears that plastic may have contaminated the product. The recalls include a strawberry flavoured suspension of oral ibuprofen for infants older than three months.
Historically, businesses have survived such product recalls, the Tylenol case being the classic example, but it will be interesting to see if there is any backlash for this particular recall given that one of the products is for babies and another for young children. It is difficult to know how proactive Boots have been with their response; some of the contaminated products were distributed in September. Only time will tell if Boots have been successful with the maintenance of their reputation.
Of further interest, as reported in this blog previously, is the low success rate that is reported for any such recalls. RecallUK state that ‘there are no definitive figures’ for recalls outside the automotive industry, and that these figures are not collected. They further claim that ‘anecdotal evidence suggests that general product recalls typically achieve a recall success rate of 10-20% and food recalls less than 10%.’ RecallUK notes that one of the advantages that the automotive industry has is the ability to directly contact owners; it will be interesting to see if Boots have an improved chance of success given that they will contact customers via their Advantage Card and Parenting Club.