“Tiger Woods or Tylenol” (#1408)

Internet Premiere
Friday, 2/19 @ 12:00pm ET
Detroit Public TV
Sunday, 2/21 @ 10:30am ET
(Original Airdate)

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  1. PLAYING: Entire Show

  2. Open: John's Opening Thoughts

  3. Segment 1: Toyota's Troubles


    • Maria Leonhauser, Franco Public Relations
    • Paul Haelterman, CSM Worldwide
    • Christie Nordhielm, Univ. of Michigan
  4. Close: John's Closing Thoughts



Maria Leonhauser, Franco Public Relations, Paul Haelterman, CSM Worldwide, Christie Nordhielm, Univ. of Michigan. Topic: Grading Toyota's Public Relations.

A dizzying number of consumer products have been introduced over the last thirty years. And though thousands have succeeded over that time few have achieved the Mount Olympus of brand recognition that translates into the multi-million dollar world of annual sales. And even fewer from that list have survived a potential public relations nightmare that backed the brand into a corner. For the last three months we've been watching the Tiger Woods brand undergo such scrutiny, while 28-years ago Johnson & Johnson faced an even greater disaster with its Tylenol over-the-counter medication. Tylenol, by all accounts, became the gold standard of resuscitating a brand with great corporate public relations. The same can't be said for the Tiger Woods brand though the entire story is yet to be written.

Meanwhile Toyota, long one of the most solid brands throughout the world, is currently at a similar crossroads. For the last six months the company has experienced one bad story about its products after another. Accelerators, brakes, cars and recalls have contributed to the public waterboarding of this once proud seemingly indestructible brand. And it doesn't help that the hits keep coming.

So going forward from today, what path will the company take? What are the challenges it faces in public relations, in marketing and with the automotive world itself? This week Autoline hosts three experts from these disparate fields to talk turkey to and about the Toyota brand, the Toyota company and the Toyota bottom line. Joining John McElroy to do just that are Maria Leonhauser from the world of public relations, Paul Haelterman an authority in auto analysis and Christie Nordhielm who gave us "The Big Picture," literally, with her book on marketing challenges and solutions for companies like Toyota.