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Reputation Management – The Case Of Abbott

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Having entered the Vietnam market in 1995, Abbott's products are considered premium and are preferred by affluent Vietnamese consumers. However, due to price hikes in recent years, the Abbott brand has come under media scrutiny and its pricing policy is often portrayed as exorbitant and ruthless. Most recently an incident in mid 2013 of potentially harmful whey protein powder from Fonterra was a blow to Abbott's reputation, as well as its share in the formula milk market.In the end, Fonterra ingredients were deemed safe, but the damage was already done.

Working with Abbott as a communications partnersince 2004, Pioneer Marketing & Communication understands deeply the challenges that the firm encounters in the Vietnamese market. With its comprehensive knowledge of the media landscape and extensive network with senior editors across the country, Pioneer has assisted the Abbott team to resolve numerous issues regarding products and price hikes, while at the same time, building a mutual understanding and working relationship with the company’s stakeholders. In Nov 2013, the agency was exclusively responsible in organizing the media launch of Abbott’s first ever Citizenship Report in Vietnam, which summarizesall Abbott and the Abbott Fund’s community outreach efforts. This report is a measure of the company’s long-term commitment to enhancing access to better healthcare for Vietnamese people.

The agencywas able to invite the Deputy Minister of Health, Pham Anh Tuan to attend the event and he made positive remarks about Abbott’s contributions tohealthcare in the country.

The event attracted well over 40 journalists from top tier newspapers in Vietnam, including 5 television stations and the national radio station (VOV1). Media coverage of the event was extensive with more than 50 news and articles, published in major newspapers including 10 in-depth features and an exclusive interview on VOV1.

Abbott Global later awarded the event 2013’s Best PR Campaign. The launch of the Citizenship Report positively contributes to helping Abbott address its reputation challenges in the market.