Reputation on Trial

October 21, 2006

Reputation on Trial

Are Sony’s Battery Woes Bound for Court? That was the headline in a recent BusinessWeek (October 16, 2006). What particularly interested me was that Toshiba and Fujitsu are considering suing Sony for damage to their respective “brand images.” Sony’s faulty battery flap created a recall of Toshiba and Fujitsu computers. Although Toshiba and Fujitsu have not gone as far as formally demanding compensation, they are apparently considering it. Reputation on trial.

The Financial Times (October 16, 2006) also covered the news. In an interview with an UBS analyst in Tokyo, the pink newspaper quotes him as saying, “Suing Sony could be difficult since it would be hard for companies to prove loss of business or damage to their brands were due to the battery problem alone.” I am not sure that is the case. Good research can determine whether the Sony battery problem had an effect on purchase decisions and eroding perceptions of Toshiba and Fujitsu. There is more science behind research today than there is in stock selection. Research can isolate cause and effect effectively today.

Interesting to find out how this story develops and whether reputation loss can be taken to court.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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