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Companies like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, virtually unfazed by billion dollar federal fines for off label marketing may want to start worrying about a different court—the court of public opinion. The headlines are tough to miss:
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Must Pay $4 Million over Topamax, Jury Says2
New Recalls by Johnson & Johnson Raise Concern About Quality Control Imporvements3
Johnson & Johnson to Pay $2.2 Billion in U.S. Health Care Fraud Settlement4
Johnson & Johnson Said to Agree to Pay $4 Billion Settlement Over Hips5
Where the U.S. Government has been unsuccessful in deterring crimes the American public may have more impact than they are aware. Image conscious companies like Johnson & Johnson want purchasing consumers to perceive them as ‘baby shampoo company’ over the ‘baby killer company.’6 And, April of last year released their first national campaign in over ten years, “for all you love,” featuring babies, moms, dads, and grandparents for a mere $20-$30 million to run throughout remainder of the year.1
This ad however does not erase the facts surrounding Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary responsible for the following: 1,207 children given Risperdal suffered serious problems, including 31 who died. Among the deaths was a 9-year-old with attention deficit problems who suffered a fatal stroke 12 days after starting therapy with Risperdal. At least 11 of the deaths were children whose treatment with Risperdal was unapproved by the F.D.A.6
Consumers frustrated with a company willing to put a Band-Aid on flesh wounds within the organization, no longer need to feel frustrated. A new phone app, Buycott, was created by Los Angeles-based 26-year-old freelance programmer, Ivan Pardo, who has devoted the last 16 months to Buycott.7
Pardo’s handiwork is available for download on iPhone or Android, making its debut in iTunes and Google Play. You can scan the barcode on any product and the free app will trace its ownership all the way to its top corporate parent company, including conglomerates like Koch Industries.
Once you’ve scanned an item, Buycott will show you its corporate family tree on your phone screen. Scan a box of Splenda sweetener, for instance, and you’ll see its parent, McNeil Nutritionals, is a subsidiary ofJohnson & Johnson.7
Johnson & Johnson, maker of The Band-Aid is ”America’s #1 Bandage Brand’ according to their site. And according to Google’s SEO, Boycott the Band-Aid is number #1, via help from Buycott8. Companies willing to spend millions on image conscious campaigns may have a tougher time slapping a Band-Aid on their image when consumers using phone apps like Buycott are creating a new kind of corporate accountability.
MMpiHer (pronounced Empire) Business & Market Development Consulting can help optimize your company’s SEO, while increasing accountability, productivity, and profitability, ethically. www.mmpiher.com