The inability of J&J to get its act together on this flagship consumer brand is baffling: J&J's quick response to the 1982 cyanide sabotage of the Tylenol supply remains a case study of good corporate crisis response. Now Tylenol is looking like a case study in how to trash a brand through indolence and lack of attention to detail.
Here's the timeline of J&J's recent failings on Tylenol:
- October 2009 -- Public warned not to use Tylenol stolen from a Jacksonville, Fla., cargo terminal. (And while the theft wasn't J&J's fault, drug companies are supposed to secure their supply chains, especially since the cyanide caper.)
- September 2009 -- Recall of Tylenol contaminated by bacteria.
- December 2009 -- Recall of Tylenol and other brands due to mildew-like odor. J&J had been sitting on complaints about the smell since 2008.
- January 2010 -- Expanded recall of Tylenol and other brands due to mildew odor, which led to a Jan. 15, FDA warning letter over lousy manufacturing safeguards at McNeil's Tylenol plant.
- May 1, 2010 -- Children's Tylenol recalled over contamination with "black particles."