Current Crisis: Huggies

There’s nothing like a hug, especially a hug that could potentially harm you. Huggies Diaper Company is facing intense heat when a mother reported she found alleged glass in the baby wipes she purchased. Kimberly Miner claims the glass shards in the wipes have irritated her children’s skin; causing itching and small scratches. “I took a wipe and rubbed it on my arm,” said Miners husband, “Well about 10 minutes later I really started noticing that it was starting to itch on my arm” (Matheny, 2015).

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The Huggies customer service workers who talked to the mothers compliant said that, so far, no mothers have sent in the wipes for potential glass. However, the company is asking for the mothers to send in the wipes to examine them, while at the same time telling mothers the wipes are “okay” to use.

The mothers demand for a recall failed when Huggies marker Kimberly Clark stated on the company’s website that the wipes were not harmful. Eleonora, another Huggies representative, posted the same statement on Huggies website, stating that no glass or fiberglass was found in the wipes (2015). The company claims the wipes contain microfibers and the shimmer seen could be caused from the fibers reflecting with light.

The incident has traveled all over the news and internet, however, Huggies has not issued a press release or even acknowledged the event on their Twitter or Facebook. The company remains confident that the wipes are safe, and continues to promote their products by advertising September as, “National Baby Safety Month,” on their social media cites.

I was honestly quite shocked about the findings of the Tennessee mother, but more appalled that the company has done little about the crisis. It seems evident that there is something slightly wrong with the wipes if they are causing symptoms of itching and scratching, but it seems more evident that Huggies isn’t exactly sure about the product details. The company is asking parents to send in the wipes for testing, after releasing a statement on their website that the baby wipes are “safe” to use. Thus, a conclusion appears that the wipes have not been completely tested and proven as “safe”.

I believe Huggies tactic to this crisis was completely wrong and handled unprofessionally. The company should have done extensive research to the product before confidently telling their customers they are “perfectly fine” to use. If even the slightest irritation was found from the wipes, the product should have been immediately recalled from shelves. According to the Global Supply Chain Quality Management journal, there are different actions that a company can do to provide care to their customers after a recall. This can include refunds to the customers, repairing the defect, replacing the item with a new one, or sending a warning notice to customers (Flynn and Xiande, 2015). If Huggies were to recall the product, it would most likely be considered a “Class C hazard.” This is when the risk of serious injury or illness is not likely but possible or when the injury or illness is moderately possible (Flynn and Xiande, 2015).

Huggies Diaper Company should have also issued a press release or multiple social media post to reassure the care of their customers. Even the slightest post stating, “We are investigating our baby wipes for possible irritation to skin,” or “We care about our customers and are looking into the concerns our of baby wipes,” could have done some justice to worried mothers. Instead, the pushed the crisis under the rug and continued their PR, posting about other positive topics relating to their company.

Although recalling a product does create potential customer and financial lost, Huggies may be losing their loyal customers from lack of care. Without proper PR tactics about this crisis, Huggies may drop in sales compared to the other baby diaper/wipe brands. Huggies needs to commit to their customers with more quality care, rather than simple statements in their website’s FAQ.

References

Eleonora. Huggies Wipes FAQ. (2015, August 24). Retrieved September 27, 2015, from https://www.huggies.com/en-us/wipes-faq

Flynn, Barbara, and Xiande Zhao. “Product Recalls and Their Impact.” Global Supply Chain Quality Management (2015). CRC Press: Taylor & Francis Group. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.

Matheny, J. (2015, August 25). Moms seek recall of Huggies wipes after particles found. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/08/25/moms-call-recall-huggies-wipes/32322907/

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