Johnson & Johnson marketing boss: 'We have nothing to hide' amid asbestos allegations

Brands must remain transparent during a crisis, Johnson & Johnson's senior marketing director, baby care EMEA said.

Johnson & Johnson marketing boss: 'We have nothing to hide' amid asbestos allegations

A senior Johnson & Johnson marketer insisted the company had "nothing to hide" as it battles intensified claims of possible asbestos contamination in its baby powders.

Referring to the recent accusations, Sophie Rasmussen, senior marketing director, baby care EMEA, at the FMCG company, commented: "Our approach has been the best approach during a crisis: transparency".

Rasmussen was speaking at a Havas Meaningful Brands event in London.

Saying that the brand prides itself on "giving babies the best start in life", Rasmussen said it had shared "all the data it owns on its website", in order for the public to form its own opinion on the product. She insisted that, despite the accusations, "the facts say it's safe and cancer free" but that "proactive communication and transparency has been the best choice".

The pharma and baby products' company’s share price fell 1.4% yesterday after it revealed in its annual report on Wednesday it had received subpoenas from the US Justice Department and SEC regarding its talc products.

Johnson & Johnson is also facing multiple separate lawsuits claiming that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer.

"We are about giving babies the best start in life. We are in line with that and have nothing to hide," she added.

Earlier at the event, Rasmussen revealed the brand had a 75-year-old "Credo" document – a statement of beliefs – that drove "a lot of the business decisions they make", including how they are approaching this scandal.

Also speaking at the event was senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, Dr Elisa Alt.

Alt questioned how brands can inform consumers meaningfully when "facts are really questioned" in the current climate.

It has become increasingly difficult for brands to rely on facts in an era where Donald Trump and his "supporters frame facts as fake", Alt said.

Orianna Rosa Royle

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