The Tide Dilemma

Sad, odd, wtf article in the WSJ today about teens challenging one another to eat (yes... eat) Tide Pods and how Tide is trying to combat the negative PR it's receiving. It reminds me a little bit of the Mentos and Soda situation Coke dealt with, but this is more mainline dangerous.

Tide took a few tactics. First, a public statement about how not-okay it is to eat their products. Tide also redesigned its packaging and posted a few clever videos of celebrities, like Rob Gronkowski, telling kids not to eat Tide capsules.

This is all well and good, but what it really does is push the issue downstream. The Journal has an apt line when it says, "For now, the Tide Pods maker may have to wait for teens’ attention to turn to the next meme."

It's as if large companies-- the ones that effect millions and millions of individuals-- are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Somewhere, someone is going to start misusing their products. Then the company needs to put out the fire if it's able to, waiting for the next product to be misused and for the media to turn its attention to another company that needs to start putting out its own fire. Hopefully, in the mix of all this, the brand isn't damaged so much that there's permanent ramifications.

Still, this says nothing about the bigger issue; how do we keep teens from not eating poison?.. 

Brandon Cohn