Tuesday, November 08, 2016
Rumors are the hardest communications to control, especially with consumer products. A falsehood will get started and nothing a company can do will batten it down. Consider this case. Corona, a Mexican beer, was gaining market share rapidly in the United States when someone, perhaps Heineken, started a rumor that the golden lager had urine in it. Sales plummeted. Corona sued a distributor of Heineken for starting the false statement and settled with it to include a public admission that the rumor was not true. But Corona's sales continued down. Even today, there are some who believe Corona has urine in it. It is maddening for the company because there is little one can do or say to stop people from repeating evil tattle. Well-meaning, gullible people repeat such trash and give rumors a continuing life. It is a never-ending PR nightmare.