Political Crisis Communications To Defend A Groundbreaking Product
Our client developed a new refrigerant for use in air conditioning systems to allow manufacturers to comply with an EU environmental directive. Despite broad industry acceptance of the product, one company decided not to respect the EU law in question, and tried to justify its decision by publicly undermining the safety credentials of our client’s product, risking not just considerable investments but the reputation of the entire company.
To manage this direct attack on the company’s reputation, FTI Consulting designed and rolled out a pan-European campaign integrating political and media outreach in Brussels, France, the U.K., Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and Poland, focused on robustly defending the product’s integrity, our client’s reputation, and rebutting and correcting false claims made by third parties. Integrating our EU political, regulatory and media expertise allowed us to effectively assess how the political pendulum would swing and advise on messaging to influence the debate.
The antagonist company has publicly announced its intention to use our client’s product. All of its false claims were successfully and decisively debunked in influential media, and their motivation and tactics widely discredited. The EU instigated infringement proceedings against the antagonist company’s home member state for not applying EU law within its jurisdiction. Our client’s reputation has been robustly defended and it is perceived as a reputable and reliable business, an honest broker, and a supporter of EU environmental legislation, which has effectively preserved the viability of this important product.