Restoring The Name of Jif Peanut Butter


In 2009, not only did Jif Peanut Butter go through a massive crisis our whole world did. The PCA, which stands for, Peanut Corporation of America was connected with a salmonella outbreak. This recalled around 4,000 products. Not only did Jif get caught in the mess, other companies who sell products with Jif peanut butter did as well. Although PCA declared bankruptcy the owners faced problems as well.  While peanut butter by itself sold around $900 million dollars a year, parents were put on edge after hearing about this crisis. At the time of this horrible event,  nine deaths occurred and roughly to 700 illnesses. 

   As a result to this, not only did PCA file bankruptcy protection, but it also closed its operations and fired all employees. To prevent this from happening again in the future, there has been what they call a Utilitarian Ethics applied for this event. In what is to follow are the action plans if the company is to respond to a crisis threat. 

Again this is to repair their image.

1. Denial: This meaning, they can shift the blame to someone else. They can deny that what is being said occurred. 

2. Evasion of Responsibility: Those being blamed do not deny the offense but avoids taking responsibility of it. There are four forms of this stated in the document

    – Provocation Strategy: the acts done were in response of another’s offensive act.

    – Utilizing Defeasibility: this means that the act was done with lack of information or control of the event.

     – Accident: If it is proven that it was in fact an accident by the company than the image should be reduced. 

     – Performed with Good Intentions: The business or company meant well with the actions taken. 

3. Reduce Offensiveness: The company tries to reduce the offensiveness of the act that was thought to be happening. There are six steps to this.

    – Bolstering: this strengthens the feelings of the audience by giving examples of positive acts done in the past. 

    – Minimization: downplay the acts negative feelings by the audience.

    – Differentiation: the act is compared to other offensive actions done.

    – Employ Transcendence: this places the act in a favorable context.

    – Attacking the Accuser: this will reduce the credibility of the accuser.

    – Compensation: Reimburse the victims for wrongdoings. 

4. Corrective Action: This states that the company promises to correct all problems that have occurred. 

5. Mortification: The company apologizes for what has taken place and asks for forgiveness.


This is a very vague description of their crisis action plan. Personally, I believe it is a start to restoring their companies image if something were to go wrong again in the future. For some it is hard to move past the problems if they keep reoccurring, which is where I believe more needs to be done. 




Image credit: Mr. Thomas via Compfight 




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