Crisis Management at Bausch & Lomb - The 'ReNu Moistureloc' Controversy

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG129 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
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Eye Care
Case Length : 21 Pages
Period : 2005-2006
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Bausch and Lomb
Industry : Eye Care
Countries : USA, Asia


This case is about the crisis faced by Bausch & Lomb (B&L), a leading eye care company, in the wake of reports linking its contact lens cleaner, ReNu with MoistureLoc (ReNu MoistureLoc), to a fungal infection of the eye called Fusarium keratitis. B&L decided to suspend the US shipments of this product and asked US retailers to temporarily remove ReNu MoistureLoc from their shelves. The case discusses the views of some marketing and branding experts who highlighted the inadequate action taken by B&L when the initial reports of the infection came out in Asia.

The company's critics felt that B&L had not handled the crisis well and was likely to pay the price for it in terms of loss of sales, loss of image, and lawsuits. However, there were others who pointed out that B&L was not all to blame because there was no clear link established between B&L's product and the infection.


Understand the challenges faced by a company in managing a product crisis.

Understand the importance of clear and effective communication with customers in the event of a controversy/crisis.


  Page No.
Bausch & Lomb in the Public Eye 2
Background Note 3
ReNu Eye Infections - The Initial Reports 4
A Hazy View At B&L? 5
Competitors Eye B&L's Market Share 7
B&L in Damage Control Mode 8
Did B&L Give Itself A Poke In The Eye? 9
Future Outlook 11
Exhibits 12


Bausch and Lomb, ReNu with MoistureLoc, Contact Lens Solution, Pharmaceuticals, Fungal eye infection, Fusarium keratitis, US Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Brand Management, Crisis Management, Product recall, Consumer class action lawsuit, Alcon, Outbreak, Tylenol controversy

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